Swedish broadcaster SVT have today confirmed a number of changes to the voting format in their national selection, Melodifestivalen.
From this year, viewers who choose to vote via the app will be asked to select their age group from one of of seven options. SVT will then break down each demographic’s specific vote, alongside the telephone vote, to work out this year’s finalists as well as the winning entry.
The decision to split the public vote by age is not too far off from what SVT have already been doing for many years. When selecting individuals to construct the Melodifestivalen jury each year, the broadcaster carefully select and associate each member based on age.
Indications of a change in the show’s voting were first rumoured last year when the contest’s producer, Christer Bjorkman, revealed in an interview to us, that their were improvements to be made.
So how will this exactly affect the voting? Here is a rundown on the changes that the new formula will bring from this year.
- Anyone using the official Melodifestivalen app to vote will be assigned to a different group based on the age used to register the app.
- Votes received by telephone will be used to form an eighth group.
- Every group will be assigned with the same number of points to distribute.
- To counterbalance the eighth viewer groups, there will be eight international jury groups in the final.
In each of the heats, there will be 43 points on offer per group. These will be based on the traditional scale of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 point.
For the second chance round, the points will be calculated based on which performance received the most votes per group.
For the grand final, each group will be allocated a total of 58 points. Similarly to the heats, these will be based on a scale of 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point. The 8 international juries will also be allocated 58 points to distribute in the same way.
On-screen ‘heart’ holds new meaning
The animated heart icon which is usually displayed on screen during performances to give a real-time overview of app voting will undergo a small change. SVT have confirmed that while the heart bolt will remain, the rapidness of the animation will be less revealing. In a new change, the icon will vary in colour to reveal the popularity of a song based on a particular age group.
The broadcaster explained the logistics of the new system, dismissing any claims on inaccuracy. If the younger audience vote were to vote twice as much as a group of 75+ year olds, the latter age group would still find their votes portrayed on screen. This is due to the algorithm which calculates engagement rather than number of overall votes.
The age groups will be divided into the following colours
Project manager of Melodifestivalen, Anette Helenius, spoke of the change to the voting format.
It has become clear that the songs that had received the most votes is loved by viewers of all ages. But of course we want everyone to feel that their votes are counted, and therefore we have listened to the viewers and made this change.SVT Press Release
SVT axes unpopular SMS vote
SVT have also revealed that it will no longer be possible to vote for performances by SMS. This is due to a year on year decline in the number of votes received to the SMS number.
New formula can result in new voting patterns
In the press release issued today, SVT publiclly state that the changes made can result in a different winner as opposed to votes made using the old method.
Changes to the voting in Melodifestivalen are not uncommon. In 2009, it was decided that votes in the grand final would be distributed in percentage form. Had the change been introduced earlier, Mans Zelmerlöw would have won the competition with Hope & Glory. Due to the change in format however, he finished in 4th place.
In the statement made today, SVT make it clear that the results of last year’s competition under the new formula showed no major changes.
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