Can Spotify Outsmart The Grammys?

In less than 24 hours, hundreds of musicians and performers will fill the Staples Center and wait patiently to see if they’ll be taking home one of the industry’s most coveted awards at the 55th Grammys. While their fates ultimately lie in the hands of the voters, Spotify thinks they have cracked the code in forecasting who will take away the golden gramophones. The streaming music service has dipped into the listening habits of its 6 million users to come up with a list of award predictions based on the most popular song and album streams, all captured in their extensive database. Of course, these predictions only reveal which nominees would win if it were up to Spotify users, and it hasn’t always been the case that consumer consensus equals the industry’s idea of “artistic value”. But since the Grammy Awards are panel judged on merit, could the vast amounts of data actually answer an equation that is largely unknown? Or is it perhaps an indicator of how social tools are progressively being (and will continue to be) framed as reliable sources of market predictions? After all, the overabundance of consumer conversation and big data in the social sphere marry well to provide a tangled sea of insights just waiting to be tapped into (analysis paralysis, anyone?). Either way, Spotify’s predictions are unlikely to line up exactly with actual award grabs, but it still strikes me as a cool experiment. Keep these in mind as you get your watch on this Sunday eve…

Record of the Year: “Somebody That I Used to Know”, Gotye
Album of the Year: “Babel”, Mumford & Sons
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Somebody That I Used to Know”, Gotye
Best New Artist: The Lumineers
Best Pop Solo Performance: “Call Me Maybe”, Carly Rae Jepsen
Best Country Song: “Blown Away”, Carrie Underwood

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