The 2017 JUNO Awards: Trends Uncovered by Google Canada to Predict Winners?

With the JUNOs approaching in just a few short weeks, guessing the award winners becomes a hot topic. If you wanted a more educated prediction, looking up some digital trends might not be a bad idea. The JUNOs aren’t necessarily a popularity contest, but there’s no harm in a data-fuelled guessing game played by millions, right?

By using the Google Canada trend explorer, you can see just how popular certain search terms are, and at what point in the year. You can also compare them against each other, so for example you could pit ‘cats’ vs. ‘dogs’ to see what’s searched for most. (Dogs are currently searched 3x more than cats, by the way).

Read on below to see how Google Canada ranks some of this year’s JUNO nominees according to their trendiness. And for added fun, tune in to the 2017 JUNOs on April 2 to see how accurate Google can be!

Artist of the Year

According to Google Canada trends in the last year, the most searched Artist of the Year nominees were:

  1. Drake
  2. The Weeknd
  3. Leonard Cohen
  4. Shawn Mendes
  5. Alessia Cara

Searches for Drake were 3.5x more common than runner-up The Weeknd, with many key moments driving the surge in searches. The release of Drake’s Views, as well as his romp with Rihanna through Toronto and date-rumour-sparking hug photo with J.Lo, all led to boosts in his trending domination.

Group of the Year

According to Google Canada trends in the last year, the most searched Group of the Year nominees were:

  1. The Tragically Hip
  2. Billy Talent
  3. Tegan and Sara
  4. Arkells
  5. The Strumbellas

Who else would you expect after the summer of Gord? News of The Tragically Hip frontman’s cancer diagnosis, and their nationally-broadcasted summer tour, generated incredible amounts of online interest. Mississauga’s Billy Talent accrued the second-most searches after international touring in support of Afraid of Heights, their fifth studio album.

Breakthrough Artist of the Year

According to Google Canada trends in the last year, the most searched Breakthrough Artist of the Year nominees were:

  1. Tory Lanez
  2. Ruth B
  3. KAYTRANADA
  4. Jazz Cartier
  5. Andy Shauf

There’s always a surprise at awards shows, and it seems the predictions follow suit! Despite winning the 2016 Polaris Music Prize for 99.9%, Montreal-based KAYTRANADA was only the third-most searched artist in the Breakthrough category. Toronto’s Tory Lanez took the top spot, with Edmonton’s Ruth B following behind.

Album of the Year

According to Google Canada trends in the last year, the most searched (by artist) Album of the Year nominees were:

  1. Drake, Views
  2. The Weeknd, Starboy
  3. Céline Dion, Encore un soir
  4. Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
  5. Shawn Mendes, Illuminate

Once again Drake and The Weeknd top the artist searches, matching their results from earlier. However, a couple Canadian icons shook up the charts in Quebec: Céline Dion actually displaces Drake as the top search there, with Montreal’s Leonard Cohen placing third ahead of The Weeknd in the francophone province.

Single of the Year

According to Google Canada trends in the last year, the most searched (by song) Single of the Year nominees were:

  1. Drake, One Dance
  2. The Strumbellas, Spirits
  3. The Weeknd, Starboy
  4. Alessia Cara, Wild Things
  5. Shawn Mendes, Treat You Better

After topping the charts in 15 countries and being named Billboard’s 2016 Song of the Summer, it’s no surprise Drake’s One Dance tops the trending charts as well. Although the national gap wasn’t very narrow, The Strumbellas’ indie smash Spirits was the most-searched song in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory, and every Maritime province.

What else?

With five nominations each and dominating many of the search trends, Drake and The Weeknd are some of the most prominent Canadian artists nowadays. So what do people want to know about these international stars?

Here are the most searched Drake questions so far this year:

  1. What happened to Drake and Rihanna?
  2. What high school did Drake go to?
  3. Where in Toronto is Drake from?
  4. Is Drake Jewish?
  5. Where does Drake live?

And the most searched The Weeknd questions:

  1. Are The Weeknd and Selena Gomez dating?
  2. Is The Weeknd Canadian?
  3. What’s the name of The Weeknd’s tour?
  4. What is The Weeknd’s real name?
  5. How tall is The Weeknd?

Seems like there aren’t really many music-related questions, but that’s the beauty of Google: you can literally discover anything. If you’re curious, you could always play the Google trend game yourself!

Mathew Kahansky

Once upon a time, Mat studied journalism. That's how he became Alan's one-time intern and current-time contributor, and the rest is ongoing history - get it? Mat also studied biology and music, so he has a strangely specific knowledge set that doesn't really apply anywhere other than useless fun facts. He currently works for a music tech start-up in Halifax, and is a big fan of the em dash.

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