Editorials & Opinion

Would interactive app voting succeed in Eurovision?

It’s already part of the yearly gossip in the Eurovision world. App voting might come to the contest in the upcoming years. But would it work in Eurovision, and would it be an improvement to the contest? National finals like Sweden’s Melodifestivalen are already using app voting in their selection process. Is it just a matter of time before we see it in Eurovision?
Throughout this article, references to app voting are to mean a more interactive voting system rather than the current app voting system that allows users to use the app to send an automated text or phone call.

Potential benefits of app voting

The prices to vote via call or text vary from just a few cents in some countries to €1 or €2 in other countries. Therefore, free app voting would include more people in the process to find a winner. It is important to have a tighter voting limit while using app voting.
It’s also important to verify each user. This could happen if you had to activate your voting account with a code sent to your mobile number. Activating your account with your mobile number would also make it almost impossible to send your votes from a different country than your own.

Potential drawbacks of app voting

In fact, using app voting in Sweden for their national final selection shows that up to five votes per user for each artist is just too many. If you only have between 7 and 12 acts in a show, in the end, the televoting results are so close. There are not many points between each act, especially in the high-quality final.

…and how they could be overcome

However, using an app in the Eurovision could be implemented differently. Instead of having so many votes for each artist, maybe you just get a few votes overall to distribute to your favourites? Plus, Eurovision would not want to eliminate their classic points system. Therefore, instead of distributing points based on the percentage an entry gets on an app vote as in Melodifestivalen, the top 10 most voted for entries would be awarded the classic 12 to 1 points. Indeed, this would solve the issue of an extremely close app vote weakening the overall impact of the public vote.

These are just a few ideas that I have come up with! I have some of my fellow editors for their opinions, and here is what they have to say:

Opinions of fellow ESCXTRA editors


I think that app voting in Eurovision is a complicated issue. I can imagine playing with the app voting and scoring each of the entries out of 5 could be fun. Plus, it’d get a lot more people watching the contest and voting, giving a more representative result…
But on the other hand, just look at some of the negative effects that it had on Melodifestivalen. The first time that they used app voting, the app crashed and made the results uncertain. Then there are those suspicions that teenage girls massively boosted the result of several teenage heart-throb boys (JTR, Eric Saade, Anton Hagman, Benjamin Ingrosso, and of course Hasse Andersson, to name a few). A country would just have to send a cute young guy, and regardless of the song, they’d do extremely well.
Even more worrying is how app voting could introduce a whole new problem with some countries buying votes. There have been accusations of some countries buying the votes of other countries before. If free app voting were introduced, all that a cheater would need to do is give one person a bunch of SIM cards, and that’s 5 completely free votes per SIM card for that entry.
Furthermore, if the EBU introduced free app voting, who would bother to pay to call or text? This would mean a massive drop in income from Eurovision, potentially lowering the show quality.
So overall, I think that even though app voting could be fun and give us a completely new aspect to the contest, it’s probably too risky, and would cause too many problems for it to be a good idea.


I think app voting is the natural next step for voting at Eurovision. However, ensuring the app vote is fair will no doubt take time, especially when factoring in that it has to be usable in more than 40 countries. I think the Melodifestivalen method of app voting would be a mistake. Instead, users should get 5 or 10 votes to distribute to their favourites, rather than 5 or 10 votes to give to every single artist.
Would these app votes be free? Would they be paid for? If the EBU could attract a willing sponsor to spend the money that would’ve been received through televoting, then free app votes could be a possibility. This method has worked very well in ITV reality TV shows in the UK for example.
Perhaps we could look at something even more radical. In order to create a truly 50/50 voting in Eurovision, perhaps the public at home could submit top 10 rankings? Every voter would be able to award their very own 12-1 points. Then at a national level, these points would be added up and converted into a national 12-1 points. This would be truly revolutionary and hardcore fans would love it, but would it be too much for the casual watcher to bother with?
I’ve probably asked more questions than I’ve given answers. Yet, app voting is something the EBU must be looking at implementing. Nevertheless, I’d rather they take their time to get it absolutely fair and right rather than rush it out as Melodifestivalen arguably did in 2015.


The voting is a huge aspect of Eurovision and it’s important that it is fair, transparent while also being exciting and engaging. App voting is almost inevitable but there will have to be a lot of debate over how to get it right. Get it wrong and the credibility of the contest suffers as we end up with a controversial winner and set of results. Plenty has been written about the effects of app votes on the Melodifestivalen result and I wouldn’t like to see that at Eurovision.
There needs to be restrictions on the amount of votes and a verification process to minimise abuse. It’s a complicated issue but I think it’s one that can, and needs, to be looked at. Younger viewers especially will see app voting in their favourite TV shows (be it a national final or X Factor for example) and expect it at Eurovision. In time voting by phone will almost feel old fashioned.


I have mixed opinions on App Voting, I am up for it because it is another way to get fans to watch the show but on the other hand, if they do introduce app voting they must ensure that it does not pad out voting (e.g. in X Factor you only get 5 votes but in Melfest you get 5 votes per song).
If they do introduce app voting the EBU must ensure it is rigirously tested, we don’t want what happened in the first heat of Melodifestivalen 2015 to actually happen in Eurovision (poor Molly Petterson Hammer!).
Overall I’d still call in because a vote is a vote but if app voting is introduced I would be more than happy to use the free votes that is available to me.
Would you prefer using an app-voting in Eurovision or would you rather stick to the normal call and text voting system? Let us know your opinion in the comment section below!

Dominik Rössing

Hey, I'm Dominik from Germany. Watched my first Eurovision in 2003 and I was in love right away! Attended my first contest in 2011 and every contest since 2013. The same happened with Melodifestivalen. Started watching in 2006 and been to every final since 2017 and try to make it to at least one heat each year, too. After all, Melodifestivalen is the real deal ♥

Comments on Would interactive app voting succeed in Eurovision?

Related Articles

Back to top button