As Variety reports, the partnership was announced as part of a slate of original programming from the online giant at its NewFronts presentation at the Lincoln Centre in Manhattan yesterday (April 27). As well as Cowell, Steve Aoki was also at the presentation, where it was revealed that the EDM cake-thrower would be one of the show’s celebrity judges.
Yahoo chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt also announced the voting would take place through Tumblr – presumably in an attempt to harness the power of EDM’s social media-savvy fanbase – explaining that the show was “very much like the World Cup of EDM — country against country, DJ against DJ, fanbase against fanbase.”
The show is being produced by Cowell’s Syco Entertainment along with Ultra Records president Patrick Moxey, Done and Dusted production’s Ian Stewart and Hamish Hamilton, who was the director of the 2015 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show and Academy Awards. The lucky winner will get the opportunity to headline a major electronic music festival and will be offered a record contract with Ultra Records and Sony Music, but as Cowell is known for dropping former winners from his record label when they don’t perform, any prospective contestants should probably go in with a back-up plan.
Yahoo’s chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt has even compared it to the world’s biggest sporting spectacle.
“Ultimate DJ will be very much like the World Cup of EDM – country against country, DJ against DJ, fanbase against fanbase. And with all the voting happening on Tumblr, it’s yet another example of the growing convergence and synergies we are finding between the two platforms.”
Ultimate DJ has been in the pipeline for a while now – Cowell’s first attempt to get a DJ talent show off the ground was scuppered in 2012 following behind-the-scenes disputes, but it reared its ugly head again last year when it was revealed Cowell was in cahoots with T-Mobile and EDM giant SFX Entertainment to bring the project back to life as an online show. It’s not Yahoo’s first foray into the live music streaming world – last year itannounced a partnership with Live Nation to live stream selected concerts online.