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'Britain's Got Talent' gets in-app voting for live shows

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Britain's Got Talent fans will be able to access two new ways to vote on the 2012 live shows, including in-app voting and a new system for cheaper mobile votes.

Starting this weekend with the first live shows, viewers of the ITV1 programme will be able to vote for their favourite contestants via the existing Britain's Got Talent app on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Britain's Got Talent 2012: The Judges

© ITV



The app has already racked up 500,000 downloads and saw peak traffic of 130,000 users per episode, accessing its trademark 'buzzer' feature.

Developed by ITV and production company FremantleMedia in partnership with the Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) and app developer Tellybug, the in-app voting system allows audiences to vote from the app when prompted on the live shows. At this point, the voting button will automatically replace the buzzer.

Votes will be available in bundles of three, priced at £1.49, making the cost of each vote around 50p, the same as traditional voting phone lines.

Version 2.0 of the BGT app will also give users the chance to purchase access to a live stream from four exclusive backstage cameras placed around the Britain's Got Talent studio. A series pass will be available starting from £1.99 at the beginning of the live shows.

Media regulator Ofcom permitted broadcasters to introduce paid voting on TV shows via mobile applications in 2010, as a complement to premium rate services (PRS) via phone or text lines.

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Alongside the in-app voting, the Britain's Got Talent live shows will also introduce Mobile Short Dial Codes, which allow UK mobile users to dial a seven digit number from their phones for a fixed price of 50p per vote, regardless of their network provider.

Previously, the show used '09' premium rate lines, which could cost significantly more when phoning from a mobile.

Provided by BT Agilemedia, Short Dial Codes - also known as Voice Short Codes - are intended to give mobile users confidence over how much they will be charged for each vote.

ITV said that 15p of each vote lodged via the app or Mobile Short Dial Codes would be donated to Royal Variety Charity, The Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund.

Britain's Got Talent - Ashleigh and Pudsey

© THAMES/SYCO

Britain's Got Talent, Mr Zip














"We know that today's viewers like engaging and interacting with our biggest shows via new platforms and on many devices," said Ann Cook, the director of interactive at ITV.

"Therefore it makes sense for us to explore introducing voting to the places where large numbers of viewers are already engaged.

"We're really looking forward to seeing how audiences respond to both these two new voting platforms, alongside the existing landline platform, as Britain's Got Talent moves into its exciting live final phase this weekend."

FremantleMedia UK head of interactive Peter Cassidy added: "The apps around our shows are becoming more and more integrated with live broadcast so including in-app voting and live backstage cameras for the first time is a huge step towards delivering a truly second-screen experience to fans of BGT. We're delighted to be working with ITV, MIG and Tellybug to make this happen."

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