According to a press release sent out this morning, Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment, SFX Entertainment, and T-Mobile are currently developing Ultimate DJ, a reality show focused on bringing attention to talented DJs and producers. Syco Entertainment is known for producing The X Factor, America's Got Talent, and Britain's Got Talent.
In 2012, it was reported that Cowell was working on a show that aimed to find "the world's greatest DJ." The news was understandably met with widespread disdain from the dance community, and it seemed like the show had forever faded away. However, today's news shows that Cowell had pushed forward with his concept, and he's picked up some powerful partners to help him make it a reality.
Cowell said, “We have been developing this concept for a while but our partnership with SFX has been a real game-changer for this format. It made complete sense for us to collaborate with SFX with their access to the best up-and-coming DJs and their great marketing platform to build new DJ talent. And I’m delighted to have T-Mobile on board with their brilliant vision and innovation.”
“In the same way we’re revolutionizing wireless to empower customers everywhere, we look forward to working with Syco and SFX to showcase and promote a fresh, new generation of DJ/producer talent,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “Our customers spend a lot of time listening to music on their devices, so you can expect us to take on entertainment and music in our typical bold and aggressive, Un-carrier style.”
Robert Sillerman, CEO of SFX, added, “Bringing EMC [electronic music culture] to the world is our goal. And building a TV franchise in the USA is a key part of that strategy. It’s always exciting to work with Simon Cowell, and the creative power of the Syco organization is undisputed. They are the perfect partners for our vision. And we couldn’t be more excited to partner with T-Mobile US. John is the most exciting CEO of this generation, and I am personally inspired by the mobile revolution he and the team at T-Mobile are driving. Together, we share a vision of challenging the status quo and pioneering new territory in business, media and entertainment.”
All of the parties involved are clearly excited, and they should be considering the boom of dance music stateside. On the flip side, American dance music fans will likely be singing a different tune. The news of Ultimate DJ means dance music is further being integrated into the mainstream, which always has the potential to result in a watering down of the music we all hold dearly. Also, big corporate companies are involved with Ultimate DJ. As a result, the end goal of Ultimate DJ will be to generate a profit. Any time someone's primary goal is to generate a profit, they are willing to risk their artistic integrity. For this reason, I fear what Ultimate DJ might become.
For the sake of the community we've all worked hard to create, I hope that Syco, SFX, and T-Mobile create a reality show that will appeal to diehard dance music fans. Unfortunately, I don't have much faith in Ultimate DJ. The producers of the show will want to get the highest ratings possible. The best bet for achieving high ratings will be to play the music that's featured on the radio. They are going to need to bring in the passive EDM listeners if they want any chance of becoming a successful show during primetime hours. If my pessimistic view is true, we'll be subjected to hearing the dance music that is littering the Top 40 charts. However, I will be keeping my fingers crossed that I'm 100% wrong.
Cover photo credit: Digital Trends