The 'Leave Right Now' singer, who shot to fame after winning Pop Idol in 2002, claimed that formats like The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent are "much more sensational" nowadays.
"They're much more sensational now. But I don't think the shows were ever about the music," Young told the Radio Times.
The 32-year-old, whose new LP Echoes was released yesterday, also admitted that he fears programmes could become "cynical and manipulative" with audiences.
"Programme-makers are only ever concerned with creating great TV shows," the star continued.
"The danger now is that they could become something more cynical and manipulative that moves into the realm of hoodwinking the public."
Nevertheless, speaking to Digital Spy recently, Young described X Factor as "great Saturday night TV".
Listen to Will Young's single 'Jealousy' below: