From John de Mol, the creator of TV sensation, “The Voice,” comes the next must-watch phenomenon.


LONDON/LOS ANGELES/LAREN, THE NETHERLANDS, January 30, 2012 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company, and John de Mol’s Talpa Holding have signed a global recording and artist services agreement for a new television programme entitled, “The Winner Is…”

The weekly, 90-minute television programme features exceptionally talented singers who are given the unique opportunity to earn money each week by using their vocal talent. But first they must beat their opponents in a series of die-hard vocal duels. The contestants will be grouped into eight talent categories: male soloists, female soloists, duos, groups, seniors (over 40), youth (under 17), families and professionals (comeback acts). Over an eight episode arch including seven regular episodes and one live finale, the contestants will be judged by a panel of 100 people and one well known expert. Every duel is worth a large sum of money. Winning a duel means instant cash and a guarantee to go to the next round. The contest begins with 2.500 in cash and doubles each round, with a grand prize of one million dollars.

The unique twist to “The Winner Is…” is that the contestants may decide their own fates. Under the supervision of the presenter, the contestants can negotiate with each other to determine who goes through to the next round, thereby forcing the artists to question how confident they are in their own talent. In the live finale, eight finalists compete to decide who becomes the overall winner. Once the field is narrowed to two performers, they each get a suitcase filled with 100.000 in cash.  It’s theirs to keep… if they willingly step out of the contest. The difficult decision they must face is – take the money or let the verdict of the jury decide.

John de Mol, owner of Talpa, stated: “Each episode of ‘The Winner Is…’ consists of eight exciting little stories around first class singing talent. In my view it’s for 75% a singing contest and for 25% a game show, which makes it a completely new combination of two highly appreciated TV genres.”

Lucian Grainge, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Music Group, commented: “UMG is about breaking and nurturing new artists and their music. Our partnership with John and his team has provided the right combination of innovation, platform and talent to do just that in dynamic new way.”

Tony Berk, President, Global Music & Talent Agency, added: “This show, with all its different artist categories, gives all kinds of talents from all walks of life a great opportunity to present themselves in a very exciting way, not seen in a talent show before. Next to this, for me it feels great to continue our cooperation with the Universal Music Group which we are enjoying since we teamed up working together with talents from ‘The Voice’.”

Max Hole, Chief Operating Officer, Universal Music Group International, said:  ” ‘The Winner Is…’ is a brilliant programme concept, and we are looking forward to utilising Universal Music’s global artist development skills to make it a worldwide success.”


About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 59 territories. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry’s leading global music publishing operation.

Universal Music Group’s record labels include A&M/Octone, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Records, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Republic and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world’s most popular artists and their recordings. UMG’s catalogue is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes Global Digital Business, its new media and technologies division and Bravado, its merchandising company.

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.


About Talpa Holding (

Talpa, based in Laren, the Netherlands, is the holding firm that comprises John de Mol’s media activities. The company has its focus on several parts of the international media industry. In the past few years Talpa Holding established itself as a full service development and production company. With Talpa Content the group operates its own creative development unit aimed at formats for television and multimedia concepts. Genres include reality, daily and weekly infotainment magazines, variety, game shows, fiction, comedy and feature film. Talpa Productions is the group’s own TV production unit. Talpa Distribution is dedicated to the worldwide licensing of Talpa Content’s formats and finished series.

When it comes to the free to air platforms radio and TV, Talpa Media Group is a shareholder in SBS Nederland ( which operates three open air TV stations, SBS6, NET5 and Veronica. Radio stations Radio 538, Radio 10 Gold and Slam FM ( are fully owned by Talpa.

Talpa Holding operates its own music division Talpa Music (

In 2010 Talpa acquired a stake in successful Russian producer Mir Reality. Besides this, Talpa and Shine France have a fifty-fifty joint venture aimed at the exploitation of Talpa formats in Europe’s French speaking markets. The cooperation with Warner Horizon for the US market is similar, like the ones with Warner Bros. International Television Production in the UK, Boomerang TV Group in Spain, SPT’s Toro Produzioni in Italy and SPT Arabia for North Africa and The Middle East, with MTG subsidiary MAP for a vast part of Sub Sahara Africa, with Axel Springer’s Schwartzkopff TV in Germany and CBV in Portugal. Talpa and Shine Australia work together in Australia and New Zealand. Talpa and Nordisk Film TV set up a joint venture aimed at the TV markets in Scandinavia and Finland.