Text by Zhang Nan
The Voice of China was the hands-down mostpopular singing competition on Chinesetelevision in the summer of 2012.
On July 13, 2012, when the music competitionpremiered on Zhejiang Satellite TV, its viewershiphit an unexpected high of 1.477 percent. Afterwards,the primetime show airing every Friday onlyincreased in popularity. A month later, its viewershiphit 3.302 percent, beating every other show in that timeslot. Its ad prices also soared. “The price of a 15-secondcommercial during Friday prime time on ZhejiangSatellite TV has jumped from 136,000 to 360,000yuan,” reveals Lu Wei, public relations director of TheVoice of China. “And the rate continues surging.”
Chinese Version of The Voice
Rebecca Yuancao Yang is the CEO of a leadingmedia distribution company – IPCN. She and her teamfirst sought the right to produce The Voice of China.
The Voice of China is a Chinese version of TheVoice – the most watched talent competition in the historyof Dutch television. In 2010, when it premiered inHolland, the program drew viewership equal to 18 percentof the country’s total population. Since its inception,The Voice has been secured by broadcasters frommore than 45 countries around the world. In view ofits tremendous market potential, Yang introduced theprogram to China and produces the Chinese versionof The Voice in cooperation with Star China and ZhejiangSatellite TV.
Such cooperation has never before been seen inChinese television history. If a television network cannotproduce a program independently, it will outsourceto a production company. The cooperative productionmechanism makes The Voice of China more like a shareholdingcompany. Its “shareholders” include not onlythe three parties who jointly produced the program,but also four music coaches who are paid a cut of theprofits instead of a set salary.
“We all believed the program would be a success after the first shoot,” recalls Lu Wei. “Everyone therewas blown away.” Although The Voice of China wasn’tthe first Chinese television program modeled after asuccessful foreign show, it is considered the most identicalto the original. Not only was the official logo ofThe Voice (a raised hand holding a microphone) imported,but the four swivel chairs were sent from Hollandas well. Even the background music played whenthe chairs turned to the contestants is the same as theoriginal.