Can We Use YouTube to Predict Grammy Winners?

The Grammy Awards are coming up on Monday and although we all know they’re an industry farce, they can still be good for a giggle or two. And if you’re a betting person, maybe you set up an office pool. And if you’re looking for a little advantage on picking the winners, here’s a hint: look at YouTube stats. This is from YouTube Trends:

  • Grammy nominations tend to have a greater impact on artists who have yet to gain mainstream prominence; winners may see a spike in popularity, but the effect of reaching a newfound national audience is mitigated by prior exposure.
  • In 2015, Brandy Clark was relatively unknown among other Best New Artist nominees (i.e., Iggy Azalea, Bastille, HAIM, and Sam Smith). She had the largest percent increase in popularity on YouTube, following the show.
  • Over the past four years, no artist has benefited more from Grammy exposure than Bon Iver. In 2012, they were famously nominated for Best New Artist, Best Alternative Music Album, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year. Following the show, their popularity doubled on YouTube and “Holocene” plays increased 150 percent.
  • The 2016 awards are most likely to noticeably boost the popularity of Best New Artist nominee Courtney Barnett, whose views increased twofold after the announcement and who remains less known within the U.S. than the other nominees.
  • 2016 Record of the Year-nominated “Really Love” by D’Angelo also stands to benefit. Plays for the track tripled in the week following the announcement.

If you like charts and analysis, go here for the whole story. There’s where you’ll find out that Courtney Barnett has a real shot for Best New Artist.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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