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Grammy picks: A critic vs. streaming data

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards are set for Sunday, which means speculation is in full swing about who will deliver the most over-the-top performances and who will take home the night’s biggest awards.

A new entity weighing in with predictions this year is the popular music streaming service Spotify. The company looked at song and album streams to determine which artists would win based on streaming data, adding a new spin on the popular-vs.-critically-acclaimed debate.

So we compared notes. Do the picks of Spotify users align with our music critic’s Grammy selections?

Short answer: No.

Post critic Chris Richards’s enthusiasm for Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” is well documented — it topped his best of pop music list in 2012. So his selection of Ocean as the deserving winner for album of the year, record of the year and best new artist is logical.

Frank Ocean (Karl Walter/Getty Images)


Spotify users’ data, however, indicate Gotye would win for record of the year and pop/duo performance. Mumford & Sons would take album of the year and the Lumineers would snag best new artist if Spotify’s results ruled. (Richards tapped fun. for pop performance.)

The one thing they did agree on: Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” for pop solo performance, of course. Was there another pop anthem in 2012?

To make your own selection, listen to some of the nominees’ hits on our Spotify playlist (make sure to sign up for free with Spotify first). And check in Sunday night for our live coverage.

Cara Kelly manages the development of editorial tools and presentation for new products and user experiences. She previously worked in the Style section, following the completion of her MA in journalism at American University.



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