Predicting Grammy Winners has now become a sort of parlor game among digital music companies over the past few years. The idea is to see if large sets of data on listener behavior can be used to pick the winners.
The answer is: It depends. If listener preferences exactly match those of the voting members of the Recording Academy who ultimately select Grammy winners, then there's a decent chance that the predictions will be accurate. But if listener and voter tastes diverge, then predictions start to go sideways.
Still, it's an enlightening exercise, if only to compare afterwards how similar the two lists are as a loose barometer of whether Academy members are in tune with the broader public. Spotify on Wednesday came out with its list of winners, based on the number of plays each nominee received from the streaming service's 24 million global users. (Shazam, a song recognition service, earlier this week issued its predictions, based on how often people have used its app to identify a song or artist.)
Here are Spotify's best bets for this year's Grammy Awards:
Record of the Year: "Radioactive" from Imagine Dragons. The record has one-third more streams than Robin Thicke’s "Blurred Lines," which came in second.
Album of the Year: "The Heist" from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The album had 40% more streams than Daft Punk’s "Random Access Memories," and more than three times as many as the other three nominees in the category combined.
Best New Artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The duo scored 70% more streams on Spotify than Kendrick Lamar three times the number of streams for Ed Sheeran.
Best Pop Solo Performance: "Royals" by Lorde. The track was closely followed by Justin Timberlake’s "Mirrors" and Katy Perry’s "Roar."
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: "Get Lucky," by Daft Punk Featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. The track had 20% more streams than runner-up "Blurred Lines."