Call it the People's Choice. Shazam, the company whose app is used to identify about 16 million songs a day, on Monday issued its predictions for this Sunday's Grammy winners.
The potential winners selected by Shazam are based purely by the number of times the song or album has been tagged. As a result, the winners are a reflection of how often listeners were intrigued enough by a song to use Shazam to identify it. The Grammy Awards, by contrast, are chosen by members of the Recording Academy.
In other words, Shazam's "predictions" are an indication of popular interest, while the Grammys represent how musical experts judge quality. As a result, the two can diverge, as they did this year with Avicii, whose album "True" was not nominated for a Grammy but was tagged 26 million times, more than any other electronic dance album.
For the most part, however, the two have been roughly in line, at least for the two years that Shazam has been calling Grammy winners, said Peter Szabo, Shazam's Vice President and Head of Music and West Coast Ad Sales.
"It's pretty close," Szabo said. "The Grammys have mirrored what we're seeing as being popular."
Last year, Shazam successfully called three out of the four top category winners -- correctly predicting Gotye and Kimbra's "Somebody I Used to Know" as Record of the Year, Fun.'s "We Are Young" as Song of the Year and Fun. as Best New Artist. It missed on Album of the Year, predicting Fun.'s "Some Nights" when, in fact, Mumford & Son's "Babel" won that category.
Here are Shazam's picks for 2014:
Record of the Year -- "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke, feat. T.I. and Pharrell (5.4 million Shazams)
Album of the Year -- "The Heist" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (11.4 million Shazams)
Song of the Year -- "Just Give Me a Reason" by Pink, feat. Nate Guest (4.3 million Shazams)
Best New Artist -- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Best Dance / Electronica Album -- "18 Months" by Calvin Harris (5 million Shazams)
Best Country Album -- "Red" by Taylor Swift (4.3 million Shazams)
Best Rap Album -- "The Heist" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis