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MIPCOM Hot Picks: Songland

Distributor: NBCUniversal International Formats
Producer: Universal Television Alternative Studio and Live Animals in association with Dave Stewart Entertainment and Levine’s 222 Productions
Channel: NBC (US)
Concept: New songwriting talent get the chance to have their work recorded by a famous artist

Maroon 5 frontman and The Voice judge Adam Levine executive produces this long-simmering songwriting competition, in which five undiscovered songwriters have the opportunity to prove they can pen the next chart-topping hit.

Each self-contained episode features a new group of songwriters who pitch and perform their original songs to a panel of three visionary producers and one major recording artist. Three are ultimately chosen to move forward to the studio and record, with the artist selecting one song to record as a single and release worldwide.

We wanted to try a different format for a music show that takes the viewer through that journey to the end, but which also gives you the ability to release the song at the end of each episode, and download the song.

“We wanted to try a different format for a music show that takes the viewer through that journey to the end, but which also gives you the ability to release the song at the end of each episode, and download the song,” says Ana Langenberg, SVP of format sales and production at NBCU International Formats.

The business is targeting broadcasters as opposed to digital platforms, and most territories are on the table.

Songland, which has been in the works for several years, previously received ownership concerns by some writers.

However, NBC now highlights that artists own all copyrights up until they are selected to the programme, at which time they may have to deal directly with producers and other third parties.

“This is not a way for NBC to get their hands on cheap music,” assures Langenberg.