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.)