X Factor finds a whole new use for iTunes

The main topic of conversation yesterday morning at the agency I was working in was, perhaps inevitably, X Factor.  As we merrily critiqued last weekend’s performances I remembered that at the end of every act a message appeared on screen directing you to the X Factor website (and then iTunes) to download the track you had just listened to.

Based on past experience (when the original versions of songs covered by the competitors immediately re-entered the charts), I expected to see the finalists sitting in the iTunes chart alongside the cast of Glee and the boy band offof the Yeo Valley ad.  But they weren’t there.

It looks like X Factor have some kind of arrangement with iTunes to keep the finalists out of the chart (or as they might put it, ‘protect the integrity of the competition’) – and I can see why.   Publication of chart positions would be a bit of a giveaway as to the popularity of individual finalists.  But putting the tracks up for sale makes a lot of sense – not only from a financial point of view but also as a useful guide for the production company Syco.

How handy would it be to know exactly how the record buying public are reacting to an artist – before they are even officially signed?  Not only that, Syco can presumably ‘enhance’ the progress of top sellers though the competition with preferential treatment in terms of songs, styling and PR.

Well, it’s what I’d do anyway…

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