X Factor producers say the new audition process will allow more people to get involved with the show and will boost online engagement.

Budding singers and groups can now upload videos of their act online in addition to the regional arena auditions.

A shortlist of 50 videos will be highlighted on the official X Factor channel, with the top performances invited to perform in front of the judges.

Last month, X Factor chief Simon Cowell told ITV executives he would not be judging the UK version of the show this year, according to reports. Former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole is also unlikely to be a UK judge this year, following her move to the US version of the talent contest.

The closing date for submissions is 17 May.

Last year’s series of the X Factor drew a peak audience of 12.6 million viewers on its return in August 2010.