Google Teams Up with Fox, Creates Online Voting Solution for American Idol

The partnership between the search giant and the TV network enables the audience of American Idol to vote their favorites within search results.

Over the years, Google Search got better and better, not only because of the improved search algorithms, but also because of the dramatic increase in the amount of information received after typing a query. We saw the inclusion of Wikipedia-like features, the integration of Google+ and Google Maps, and now, thanks to a deal that the search giant signed with Fox Broadcast Company, people watching American Idol will also get the chance to vote more easily for their favorites right in the page with the search results triggered when looking for this entertainment show.

Google’s strategy might have been inspired by Twitter, who currently is at the top of the Second Screen hierarchy, thanks to the TV partnerships it has with various networks. Facebook, who also signed a deal with American Idol, will keep track of the voting progress in real time.

Fox SVP Bill Bradford stated that “This season of American Idol is all about re-connecting fans with what they love most about the show – the journey of the contestants from hopefuls to stardom. With the help of innovators like Google and Facebook, this season, we’re deepening that connection by making it easy for fans to make a bigger impact and be a bigger part of the show than ever before.” Obviously, Google’s system found within the search results only works during the voting window. One thing is certain, you don’t hear very often about two tech companies that rival each other most of the time collaborating on such a big thing.

I admit it, I’m not a fan of American Idol, Got Talent, The Voice or any of these modern TV shows that resemble medieval circuses. Yet, it’s Google’s idea that I appreciate, and I think that an online voting system could have a lot more useful applications than that. I’m not saying that presidential or governmental elections should be organized online, or at least not yet. Considering that Google is involved in this deal, it’s safe to assume that the fraud risk is low, so why not use this system for more serious matters? Campaigns are made online, so why not move voting here, as well?

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