How Music Charts

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The MTV Video Music Awards are back for 2019 and the ballots are open! We’ll take a look at who’s up for what and from a data perspective, who might win! @chartmetric #chartmetric #musicbusiness #musicindustry #dataallday #mtv #vmas

Show Notes

  • Highlights  
    • The MTV Video Music Awards are back for 2019 and the ballots are open! We’ll take a look at who’s up for what and from a data perspective, who might win!
  • Mission   
    • Good morning, it’s Jason here at Chartmetric with your 3-minute Data Dump where we upload charts, artists and playlists into your brain so you can stay up on the latest in the music data world.
    • We’re on the socials at “chartmetric”, that’s Chartmetric, no “S ”- follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, and talk to us! We’d love to hear from you.
  • Date
    • This is your Data Dump for Wednesday, July 24th, 2019.
  • VMAs
    • The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards take place in New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Aug 26th.
    • Started in 1984, the 36th installment of the annual ceremony will continue to draw together the music industry’s brightest stars, and their biggest fans, to celebrate the music video medium.
    • Voting for performer categories have been open to the public since 2006, and for 2019, the virtual ballots will be open until Aug. 15.
    • Looking at the artists with the most nominations, the data is very clear that the ceremony is about the biggest stars today:
      • Coming out with 10 nominations each are Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish with 9 and Lil Nas X with 8. This is for the performer categories, of which there are 14, while professional category voting (such as Best Art Direction) are closed off to qualified personnel.
      • All four of these artists have Spotify Popularity Indices higher than 92, Monthly Listener counts above 39M, and Chartmetric rankings of 20 or above.
      • Interestingly, their YouTube subscriber counts vary widely, with Grande and Swift with 36M and 34M each, Eilish at 16M and Lil Nas X around 4.5M.
      • Since subscriber count on YouTube reflects a long-term public interest in an artist, and to a certain degree, the seniority of any creator, it says something about how MTV nominates its artists, which seems to be a closed process.
      • By nominating Grande and Swift the most, who have both been active since 2008 and 2004 respectively, it’s nodding to the more veteran players in the industry.
      • But with Eilish and Lil Nas X, who have been active only since 2015 and 2018, it understandably shows the awards to also be a measurement who’s hot now.
    • But who will win what? What are your predictions, Chartmetric?
      • Well, we can’t say for sure, but what we can do is pretend certain metrics are the best predictors for each category.
      • For example, if Video of the Year came down to straight YouTube views, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road (Remix)” would leave everyone else in the dust at 551M views, several steps ahead of the #2 runner up, which would be Eilish’s “bad guy” at 406M.
      • If Song of the Year came down to Spotify Monthly Listeners, then it’d be (surprise, surprise) Lil Nas X again at 48M and then Drake as runner-up with 45M.
      • Finally, if Artist of the Year came down to Chartmetric’s Cross-Platform Performance ranking, then the winner would be Shawn Mendes, who’s ranked #3 in our systems, with Ariana coming in 2nd in the MTV category with an 11th Chartmetric CPP ranking.
    • But who knows which artists the people will vote for next month, we’ll just have to tune in and see!
  • That’s it for your Daily Data Dump for Wednesday, July 24th 2019. This is Jason from Chartmetric.
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  • Happy Wednesday, and we’ll see you Friday!

What is How Music Charts?

Welcome to How Music Charts, where we bring you interviews and analysis from music industry professionals bridging data and creativity in the music business every day. Feel free to email us ([email protected]), say hi on our socials (@chartmetric), and dive deeper into music and data on our blog ( Free accounts are available at!