With the first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2019 due to take place in two weeks time, broadcaster SVT has announced a major change to the voting system of the song contest. Votes will now be weighted to ensure all age groups have their votes equally counted.

App voters will be divided into seven age groups, and in addition, phone votes will be counted as the eighth group.

While the paid phone vote is less popular than the free app vote, SVT has chosen to retain it to allow people without the app to still vote — and to support the Radiohjälpen charity, the beneficiary of the televoting fee. The SMS vote, however, has been scrapped due to lack of demand.

Each group has an equal number of points to award, ensuring that no one demographic can dominate the voting. In the past, the Melodifestivalen app vote has been criticised for having votes from younger viewers skew the overall voting.

The public vote will continue to decide the qualifiers of the semi-finals and the andra chansen round. In the grand final, the public vote will still count for 50% of the vote, with the international jury continuing to count for the other 50%.

During the show, only the overall public points total will be revealed, however a full breakdown of voting statistics — including votes per age group — will be released one week after the grand final.

A change of heart

There will also be changes to the controversial heart graphic, which appears during the performance of each song.

In recent years, the heart has pulsed, with the intensity representing the live popularity of the song in the app vote. This has been criticised for revealing too much about the popularity of each song, spoiling the surprise of the show results.

Now the heart will still be animated to show its voting popularity — however, the animation will be much more subtle and won’t give as many clues as to the overall result. It will be a gentle pulse, and no more intense sparking of the heart.

But with a new feature, the heart will change colour to reflect which age groups are most engaged with the voting for that song. The voting groups and respective colours are:

  • Green: 3-9 years
  • Turquoise: 10-15 years
  • Blue: 16-29 years
  • Purple: 30-44 years
  • Pink: 45-59 years
  • Red: 60-74 years
  • Orange: 75+
  • Uncoloured: Phone

Will the new system change the result?

It is possible that the new system will result in a different type of song winning. However, Melodifestivalen project manager Anette Helenius notes that “It has become clear that all the songs that have received the most votes have been loved by all viewers regardless of age. But we naturally want everyone to feel that their voices are counted, and therefore we have listened to the viewers and make this change.”

After analysing the voting statistics, SVT discovered that — despite fan perception — the differences between age group voting favourites is very small.

Running the Mello 2018 voting figures through the 2019 system produced the same semi-final qualifiers and only one change with the andra chansen qualifiers. Again, SVT found that the most popular songs were popular with all age groups.

This isn’t the first change to Melodifestivalen’s voting system. Over the years, the voting has been updated and refined to reflect changes in technology and viewer habits. For example, in 1999 Melodifestivalen introduced televoting, while in 2015 the Melodifestivalen app was introduced.

You’ll be able to see the new voting system in action starting with the first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2019. The show begins on Saturday, 2 February, kicking off at the Scandinavium in Gothenburg.

What do you think of the new voting system? Is it fairer to group voters by age? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Read more Sweden Eurovision news here

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ErikSWE
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ErikSWE

It seems to me as the urge to post negative comments about Melodifestivalen, Swedish artists, Swedish songwriters or prominent Swedish people grounds in an annoyance about the attention all these features get in Eurovision related contexts. Perceived as unfair attention in a kind of zero-sum game. I think it is related to the same manners as the weird “overrated/underrated” concept is discerned. Much of the criticism can of course be political or even bot originated but let’s disregard that. I find it difficult to understand the mindset that drives these urges to destroy other’s achievements. Obviously, there is no zero-sum… Read more »

ErikSWE
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ErikSWE

I think it’s pointless to judge before we’ve seen the effects of the new app. SVT already said the changes will likely give only minimal changes to the end result and the real benefits are more in the form of interesting side-effects. Personally, I never liked the app but I realise it’s here to stay and is part of the ongoing shift of how we watch television. Few Swedes watch live TV these days except winter sports and football. Hopefully, Melodifestivalen can remain one of the few national shows that can claim to be relevant live shows. The app is… Read more »

Ben ESC
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Ben ESC

this has so many flaws in it, like what if only one 75+ votes? does that mean his vote counts for 1/8th of the result? its nice theyre trying to make the show better, and this is probably a step in the right direction, but its not the finished product

Where I belong
Guest
Where I belong

Why do they influece the age groups by showing the intensity of the reception. Are they trying to make the people feel right when taking their decision ?
It´s annoying how free voting gets somehow manipulated.

Brexitny Spears
Guest
Brexitny Spears

I love orange, the official color of Holland

Lost in diaspora
Guest

Interesting article and well explained, thanks Robyn. I hope my faves are busy touring the nursing homes of Sweden in order to collect that Orange Oldie vote.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

nope nope

Rasmus
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Rasmus

Whatever we in Sweden do, YOU will never like it anyway and we just dont care about international opinions. Have a nice day 🙂

Pandaman
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Pandaman

Is that why you have International Jury?

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

I meant the ALWAYS negative fans here ofc. Not the jury. Its great. Fans dont want new things i see. Swedes do.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Have a nice day you too!!!

Porsteinn
Guest
Porsteinn

What’s the point of a new system if it doesn’t change anything? The major flaw of the app voting were the little differences between the rewarded points to each act and not some demographics.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I just hope the Eurovision doesn’t get this idea omg

Milla
Guest
Milla

Yes, this system with age groups is pretty pointless in Eurovision I think. But interesting and kinda fun in a national selection.

Milla
Guest
Milla

The international jurygroups will now be 8, not 11 like before.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

still 8 too many though

Milla
Guest
Milla

The international jury groups have been pretty useful if I remember correctly. They must have done something right since 2011 because our results have been quite good 😉 So I’m not complaining. To reduce them to 8 instead of 11 will make the voting more equal.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

2011 – both agree 3rd
2012 – both agree 1st
2013 – jury sends Robin Stjernberg – only 14th at Eurovision
2014 – public sends Sanna – 3rd at Eurovision
2015 – both agree 1st
2016 – public sends Frans 5th
2017 – jury sends Robin 5th
2018 – both agree 7th

jury: 5th and 14th
public: 5th and 3rd
Our results have been better when the public decided in the last couple of years if I remember correctly. They must have done nothing right since 2011 because our results are better with the televote winners ?. So im complaining.

TheGeorgianOne
Guest
TheGeorgianOne

Really? I would agree if it was 10 but 8??? :'(

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

It looks more democratic, but in the end, it still gives international juries the same amount of power to determine the winner, from what I can see…the televoters still comprise only 50% of the vote…however, it could change overall order, with more Swedish language songs possibly doing better than in the past. This is uncharted territory, so it will be interesting to see what real impact it makes. Let’s see! Looking forward to seeing Jon Henrik’s song most!

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Besides the aforementioned fact that we’ll have to trust voters to be honest about their age, I guess the big problem with this change is that they’re using too many age groups. They could try the same thing with 3 of them: kids and teenagers / younger adults / older adults, for example.

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

I’m all for trying new things! Let’s see how it works out for this years melfest first! If its awesome, then yay! If it sucks then I’m sure they’ll just reverse it or revamp it again.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

Would be cool if they had an international vote, I mean they let internationals watch it live on SVT Play, so why not have them vote since they will be the ones voting in Eurovision? Just a thought, cuz i don’t think the 3-9 year olds will get out there “phones” and vote

Fast Food Music Lover
Guest
Fast Food Music Lover

Darn it. Now Margaret needs to start participating in other countries’ national finals.

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

It seems kinda dumb. So what, next year we should have men and women votes separated, to see how they did vote? 1 vote should count as 1 vote regardless of who you are. The only explanation I can think of is that if they’ll have 1-12 points, and differences between age groups’ fan favourites will be small, it will increase the power of televote (with favourite getting 96 points boost) which was a problem for Sweden this year.

Jake
Guest

In that case they should also split the gay and straight votes.

Lost in diaspora
Guest

Why?

Ezz
Guest
Ezz

umm what 3,4,5 year olds would ever think about voting, hmmm but still this looks interesting

Jake
Guest

You can still vote without having to think. Like the people who voted for Alexander Rybak last year…

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Oh come on…

Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

I think the audience within the stadiums will be voting too and that will include the children watching with their parents.

ESC JOSH
Guest
ESC JOSH

Okay after reading about all this, I LOVE THE CHANGES. well done melfest, bringing yourself back to relevance. now we just need Norrsken to be amazing and win

ESC JOSH
Guest
ESC JOSH

I just wanted the televoting to be more spread out. The app voting has meant in past years that the televote is SO close together that they had basically no say, and juries could decide the winner on their own

Jake
Guest
Jake

3 year olds are using apps in Sweden?!? I can barely get mine to hold his sippy cup!

Tompa
Guest
Tompa

They are all cyborgs. How you did not know this is beyond me and ANY 3 year old.

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

Perhaps they’re gonna be giving away tablets to the live audiences watching the show and that will include the parents & their kids as well.

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

One clarification: each age group gives 1-12 points based on ranking. No more points based on percentages.
This eliminates one problem of the app vote, while introducing others. I’m eager to see how it will be presented in the final.

ESC JOSH
Guest
ESC JOSH

Where did you read this? Does it mean that they wont all be super close together now?

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

I read it on the official MelFest blog.
Indeed, the point is to increase the power of the app-vote, compared to the juries It’s unclear if it would have been enough to give Nano the win in 2017. Probably not.

Bug
Guest
Bug

But how do they know people don’t make many accounts and then vote in the different age groups? I mean i could pretend to be a 3 year old and then delete the account after voting, making another where i am 49 etc..

AMonsterLikeMe
Guest
AMonsterLikeMe

I like this! They have finally solved the problem which has been present since 2016 where the power of televoting is significantly decreased when the app votes are being converted into the scores in a percentage system. (Mendez last year being 3rd in the televote and still last in the combined ranking is a prime example). Also, teenage girls will no longer have so much power to push forward generic flop boys and cheap pop songs over quality acts. I believe that SVT has learned the lesson in 2018 and realized that if they want to score another win or… Read more »

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

No they haven’t fixed the problem you describe. This will not altee the international juries dominance at all.

If anything it could actually make it worse. If the old negates the young and vice versa,

In order to beat the jury vote you need a clear winner in the televote, this will bunch everyone up in the middle even further.

AMonsterLikeMe
Guest
AMonsterLikeMe

I disagree. The results among different age groupes will vary but not THAT much. I’m sure that the general favourite will do well among all age groups. I mean if we take 2015 yes, Hasse Andersson would probably get 12 points from the older generation but Mans would very likely get 10 or 8 so that would still result in a relatably large score for an overall favourite. On the other hand a weak song will be considered weak among all generations,

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

For the jury winning by 1 vote means an additional 2 points. In the televote winning by 1% likely means the same number.

So if the 10 juries give Song A all 12s and Song B only 10s, Song A has a lead of 20 points.

Then in televote if Song B gets 20% and song A gets 19% that’s a gap of only 5 or 6 points (1% of 580) . So the juries win.

AMonsterLikeMe
Guest
AMonsterLikeMe

I don’t even know if it’s worth discussing it with you because you obviously haven’t understood the new system. The percentages for the televotesare GONE. The children will award their set of 12, 10, 8, 7,… points, the teenagers will award their set of 12,10,8,7… and it’s the same with all the age groups. There are 8 televoting groups so the amount of jury groups will be decreased to 8 as well. So in this case if the 8 juries give Song A all 12s and Song B only 10s, Song A has a lead of 16 points. The same… Read more »

Marc
Guest
Marc

Juries were the ones to really push Benjamin or Robin and not teenage girls.
Also City Lights would have won the App voting in Sweden since it got 12 points from Swedish Televote at Esc. (Teenage girls voted for it probably)

AMonsterLikeMe
Guest
AMonsterLikeMe

May I remind you that the app voters were the ones to push Anton Hangman over Loreen and SaRaha over Isa. What you don’t realize is that the app voting in the past has given way more power for children/teenagers to influence the voting results because it’s obvious that a teenage girl is way more likely to push the heart a few hundred times than a busy middle-aged businessman or a grandma. The televoting in Eurovision is different because the amount of votes per person is limited, every vote has a cost and there are less local stars for desperate… Read more »

Marc
Guest
Marc

And this system will change/improve the televoting gap issues?
Otherwise it’s just useless and Internarional Juries will pick the winner as always
I’m not sure about this system

Rose
Guest
Rose

Whoever thought this is a good idea is an idiot. I think all the other commenters spelt out why the older system was better way better than I could have.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

How do they know your age though? Do you declare it when you sign in?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

You have to promise the app that you’re an honest person with pure intentions.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

That is a real issue, I will pretend I am 75+ because my vote will count more.. I am sure that not as many people of that demographic use the app

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Also 75+ in a country with a life expectancy of 80 is a kii. Like wtf

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

3 – 9 year olds have an equal say as all 16 – 29 year olds, LMFAO, WTF 😀

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Wait! Let’s say, there is one person over 75 watching the show and 100 persons from 16 to 29. So one voting is count equally to 100??? I know there are more people watching ofc, but the point is, this does not reflect the audience at all. It equalizes things which shouldn’t be equalized. It has to be “One man, one vote”, this is equal, age doesn’t matter…

Candy
Guest
Candy

I think the idea behind the system was reducing the “power” of the teenage and kiddie voters and thus not having another young pretty boy as the Mello winner. It ain’t gonna work tho.

MyEuroVision
Guest
MyEuroVision

I don’t know how you have to register for this app, is there even a check for your real age? Cause if I’d download it I would say that I’m 4 or 75 years old to let my vote have more impact in the results…

Diana
Guest
Diana

I don’t think there’ll be an age check, but who would lie about that anyway? It’s just a singing competition lol

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

you register the age and name when you download it. If you want to register as an 120 year old man or a 2 year old. Be my guest. I dont get the point though. SVT will find out.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

It’s interesting, but not helping that much. I mean, even if this is a family show, are you really letting a 3 year old involved in the voting? I’m also concerned about the app thing, won’t the youngsters already have the advantage by having a phone app as a voting device?

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

And, I love that there’s THAT picture of Ben that I never knew I needed.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

You know, come to think of it, this is exactly the same mechanism that made Donny President.

Jake
Guest

Donny Montell?

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Well okay, but this is quite the opposite of “giving every vote the same weight”… The majority of the voters are around 12 to 30 years old. Like, probably a huge amount… This is like doing a survey at a Highschool with 500 students and 40 teachers and making both demographics impact the survey by 50%, despite the number of students being 8 times higher. Introducing this voting minimalizes the impact of those people who make the majority of your audience. What if there were only 1000 people over the age of 75? Welp, would apparently not matter, just make… Read more »

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

This is what I thought.

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

It’s the same with Eurovision. Germany has over 200 times the population of Iceland, for instance. I don’t know if I would call it nonsensical, but it’s indeed extrememly unfair. Makes for good television though.
But are you suggesting 3-9 year olds shouldn’t be voting group? Kids are a hugely important demographic for MelFest. Why shouldn’t we engage them?

Elvira
Guest
Elvira

Hm, trying new things is cool, but Eurovision itself doesn’t use this system. Then, isn’t it more favourable to find a demographic that is like the public from Eurovision? Sure it’s cool if all ages can say something, but as long as Eurovision doesn’t do the same thing, this won’t help Sweden’s chances at all?

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Hmm, this could give a great boost to artists singing in swedish if the older people from 45 to 75+ decide to opt for traditional. This could very well be jon henriks year. He’s the kind of act that appeals to all age generations.

Denis
Guest
Denis

When will you international fans realise that Jon henrik is just an international fan-wank? He’s nowhere near the big massive star with enormous support. Only in your minds.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

First reaction: “You gotta be kidding me”. It should be plain and simple: Most votes equals winner. Everyone’s voice is being counted when everyone’s voice has the same weight. To me, his is a prime example of insane Swedish tolerance gone wrong, which I actually find kind of ageist. But have at it, it might get interesting. I just hope these kinds of experiments will stay in Sweden. They did the contest a world of good making the voting more exciting in 2016, but this is cuckoo.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

3-9? I knew Melodifestivalen is a big thing in Sweden, but that’s REALLY young. I woukd have never been interested in this sort of thing at such a young age.
Anyway this sounds really interesting. Let’s see how it works

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Well now we know, that dolly style will atleast receive one set of 12 points this year xD

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

If you are kind of intelligent. you know that 3-5 years old is not a big vote. it is 6-9 that will effect. Its just in case ONE 3 year old have chance to vote. its just number.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

That one three year old will have a lot of power then, her/his one vote will count the same as all the other age groups. I hope they’re not cranky.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Hiya.
I have never stated that any age group will predominantly affect the final result, so I don’t understand where your comment is coming from.
Also, there’s no reason to insult me (“if you are kind of intelligent”? Seriously?), as what you stated is totally unrelated to what I said. I’m responsible for what I say, not for what other people want to understand in my words.
That said, I hope you have a great day.

Ethan1994
Guest
Ethan1994

This should be interesting…