Can Spotify Predict The Grammys?

The favorite music-streaming site pits its wits, and its analytics, against the music industry.

Spotify is trying its hand at predicting the Grammys. It thinks Gotye will win Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group with "Somebody That I Used To Know," Mumford & Sons' "Babel" will win the Album of the Year crown, and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" will win the Best Pop Solo Performance. To capitalize on the fun, Spotify's also got its own new "Predict the Grammys" app, which lets users predict their own winners lists and share them.

The trick to this PR-ish stunt is actually rooted in some sensible analysis: Thanks to its status as a streaming content website, Spotify has a dataset that relates to how often folks are listening to particular tracks, albums, and artists. It's not exactly a "big data" problem, but with millions of users and a huge track database it's at least a vast statistical game that Spotify is playing. In truth, there are elements of the analysis that also explain why Twitter is buying Bluefin Labs—because Twitter's own sea of tweets relating to TV fans' opinions could make Twitter's stats as relevant as Nielsen's famous TV ratings figures.

Can social media displace traditional ratings systems to work out how popular TV shows, movies, and musical recordings are?

[Image: Flickr user Sorosh]

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