Song for Wales is the flagship talent show of Welsh-language broadcaster, S4C, and has been aired on the channel every year since 1983. It commands a prime-time slot in the broadcasting schedule. This year proved to be no exception, attracting an audience brimming with nationalistic fervour on St David’s Day.
Unlike many similar contemporary shows, Song for Wales is unique in restricting entry to professional musicians only. A team of judges pre-screens applications to the competition each year, shortlisting the six best contestants. Each shortlisted artist is then given £900 and the opportunity to work with music studios and producers to prepare their song for the live final, where the viewing public picks the outright winner.
Throughout the live show, thousands of viewers pick up the phone to cast their votes. storm provides competition organisers with the support they need to ensure that every one of these calls is processed, enabling effectively unlimited numbers of viewers to cast their vote via an automated Interactive Voice Response service.
“Processing calls during events such as this can be a challenging prospect,” commented Rhys Bevan, Operations Director for Avanti Media. “Such high volumes of calls in such a short period of time have the potential to overwhelm available traditional infrastructures, leading to dropped calls and frustrated viewers. The massive capacity and automation capabilities of the storm platform have enabled us to ensure that every call is processed, and that every vote is counted.”
“Since it was first broadcast in 1969, Song for Wales has become a national institution,” explained Emyr Afan, Creative Director for Avantimedia. “Protecting this legacy is of paramount importance to us, and the combination of our understanding of broadcast media and Content Guru’s technical expertise in mass interaction has played a key role in this, helping to ensure the smooth running of the competition year after year.”
S4C’s Digital Manager, Huw Marshall added: “As well as phoning in to vote on the evening, there was a real buzz as people joined in the fun via social media. As the twitter stats show, Cân i Gymru has become a must watch event for the S4C audience, with tweets relating to Cân i Gymru reaching almost half a million individual twitter accounts and creating over 2,000,000 impressions.”