X Factor is facing tough competition from a rival TV music talent show.

Dutch Big Brother creator John de Mol’s show The Voice Of… has shot to the top of the ratings charts since it was launched last autumn in Holland, beating Simon Cowell’s brainchild, X Factor.

In The Voice Of…, the competition begins with a ‘blind’ audition so judges are not influenced by the contestants’ appearance.

Record label Universal Music has now made a global music sales deal with de Mol’s Talpa Media Group.

As part of the deal, the record label will release the contestants’ tunes.

Universal chief executive Lucian Grainge said: “Innovation breeds success, and in television, John de Mol’s track record is second to none. He evidently has another winner with The Voice of format.”