A&Rs from Universal, Warner and Sony are in the mix, too.

From Star Search to The Voice, singing competition shows continue to evolve as the music industry changes shape. Norway’s new show The Stream, which is set to debut this Friday on TV2, is taking on new modes of artist discovery by using social media popularity and actual industry professionals to judge the competition.

The show cites the internet discovery of people like Justin Bieber, Adele and tropical house “inventor” Kygo as the inspiration for the show. Instead of the traditional audition process, contestant hopefuls uploaded audition videos to The Stream’s website, which potential viewers were able to vote on from home.

The 100 highest rated groups and artists from the 1200 applicants were then brought in to perform in a showcase for A&Rs from Warner, Universal and Sony. Unlike X-Factor or the Idol franchises, there are no curmudgeonly philanthropists or celebrities judging, but actual music industry professionals.

The A&Rs will narrow down the competing lot to 40 artists who will all get a week of personal attention before one final performance. At the end each week, all three record companies will choose and sign their three favorite artists.

Here’s where the streaming comes back in: The remaining artists will compete via live television performances while their music is simultaneously added to a Spotify playlist for the show. The most streamed artists will remain in the competition, while the least streamed are up for being voted off. Despite all of these rules, there is no information about exactly what prizes will be awarded to the victor.

You can watch a little bit of what to expect (in Norwegian) from the show below.



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