Simon Cowell is reported to be planning to abolish voting charges for the UK version of The X Factor in a bid to involve more young viewers.
In a Sun exclusive by Dan Wootton reports that Simon is keen to engage younger members of the audience, even though it would mean forsaking a huge amount of money in phone-in profits.
A few weeks ago Simon tweeted ‘Next year on our shows the rules change. I had a light bulb moment two weeks ago.’
A source said: “Simon is determined to introduce free voting this year because it will reinvent the show.
“It means millions more young people will be able to vote on favourite websites like Twitter.
“Viewers will feel more engaged and want to continue watching each week when they know their opinion will count.”
Backroom staff on the show have apparently conducted research to discover who would have won in the last few years if voting had been free.
“We crunched the numbers and worked out that making voting free would create very different winners,” the source continued.
“We believe Sam Bailey would have been beaten by Luke Friend who only ended up coming third.
“One Direction would have beaten Matt Cardle in 2010 and Olly Murs would almost certainly have received more votes than Joe McElderry in 2009.
“It will help us create champions more popular with younger people who wouldn’t necessarily have been prepared to pay to vote.”