When Simon Cowell gave birth to The X-Factor, he started a talent show that churns out four, maybe five artists every season that it’s on air, regardless of who the winner is. Originally conceived to do battle with Pop Idol, The X-Factor has trotted over to America, and with Cowell following the show across the pond, the success story reads on. But how does X-Factor continue to provide successful artists? The show’s creator has given an insight into its secret recipe for record sales.

"There would be no point in us doing the show if we genuinely didn't believe that, at the end, there would be some sort of legacy that makes the show worthwhile," Cowell explained to Billboard. "Over the years we've gotten better at putting an infrastructure around it. It's why I put myself on the shows. You've got to be on that panel and use all the years of experience you have had as an A&R man and put that on display for all those people. It's quite unnerving." But it’s not just the expertise of one man that provides the prospective singers with the tools to make it in the music business; the show teams up it’s stars with the executives that they will continue to work with beyond the show. According to Cowell, it's "one of the reasons I believe our shows have been better. If you just booked recording artists on these panels, they can't do what I've done for a living and I can't do what they've done - it's a different skill set. That's the most important reason we have done well."

Cowell, who is set to embark on the second season of the U.S X-Factor alongside judges Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid, is proud of the X-Factor’s record for creating prosperous pop stars. "What we had to prove to the whole industry is that this is a process that you can trust. If we use the time on the show to mentor you properly, help you to become a proper recording artist, you can compete with the biggest artists around the world. It takes years to develop that trust, and we are getting a bit better at it now."