Spotify, Shazam offer Grammy Awards predictions

As Sunday’s 2015 Grammy Awards ceremony draws ever nearer, there’s no shortage of methods for handicapping who might take home those awards. Now two popular platforms that help fans find their way to music they want to hear — Spotify and Shazam -- are weighing in based on their users' listening habits.

Spotify streaming service has ranked nominees in the top four Grammy categories—record, album, song and new artists—according to which have been most streamed by Spotify users.

Sia’s “Chandelier” comes out tops in both the record and song categories, with Ed Sheeran’s “X” topping most streamed albums and Sam Smith as most streamed among new artist nominees.

Spotify, which reports 60 million users and 15 million paid subscribers worldwide, also has cooked up an intriguing metric on which it bases four “dark horse winner” predictions. These are based on “virality,” a number determined by the artist's or recording's number of streams divided by the number of shares through social media.

What does that really indicate? Who knows—but it’s fun to consider. By that measure, “Chandelier” also is the dark horse front runner in the record category, Pharrell Williams' “GIRL” in the album field, Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” among the songs and Bastille for new artist.

Meanwhile, Shazam has calculated which nominees have kept its users busiest during the year. The service that helps listeners quickly identify a song or artist they’re hearing has been downloaded 500 million times, and Shazam categorizes 100 million of those as “mobile monthly active users.”

Last year Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” was the most Shazamed track among both record and song of the year nominees. Sam Smith was most Shazamed of the new artist contenders, followed, in order, by Iggy Azalea, Bastille, Haim and Brandy Clark.

Shazam doesn’t apply to album usage, so it hasn't projected a winner in that category, but Shazam bean counters also provided highest scorers in several others: pop duo or group performance (Azalea feat. Charli XCX’s “Fancy” leads), dance (Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be”), R&B (Chris Brown feat. Usher & Rick Ross’ “New Flame”), rap (Kendrick Lamar’s “i”) and country (Eric Church’s “Give Me Back My Hometown”).

Shazam also promises to release stats following the 8 p.m. Grammy Awards telecast on CBS-TV as to which moments during the show were most Shazamed by users.

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