Google Plays the Field


Not ones to be outdone by the BBC (or any traditional non-‘disruptive’ entity for that matter), Google Play Music have announced their own alternative to the Sound of 2016 longlist. Its ‘Ones to watch’ list features ten artists including Frances, Clean Cut Kid, Vant (pictured) and Jack Garrett, who everyone seems to sticking on their lists for good measure.

Interestingly, as opposed to a shadowy industry panel, the ten artists on the list have been selected based on Google search metrics streaming volumes on Google Play Music, YouTube views and analysis of social media. Give it a few years and they won’t need human input at all and we’ll all be remotely streaming the 20:20 algorithm awards through our VR headsets and dribbling dorritos from the corners of our mouths.

Azi Eftekhari, Head of EMEA Music Partner Management at Google Play Music elaborated: “It’s always an exciting time when we look to the year ahead and share our tips for success. Whilst the BBC’s Sound of 2016 and BRITs Critics’ Choice are fantastic indicators from the industry, our judging criteria is based on a myriad of factors – industry insight is one of them but also more factors like volumes of streams, search activity and social media buzz are taken into account too”.

Eftekhari, continued: “I think the one thing this year’s shortlist shows is how the power and accessibility of streaming platforms allows grassroots artists to reach a wider audience from a very early stage in the career. The fact that Jack Garrett has already played a sold out show at the 2,000-capacity Shepherd’s Bush Empire and that Aurora has already had a track appear on a major TV advertising campaign is a testament to that”.

The list also includes Aurora, Kali Uchis, Anne-Marie, Nao, Tink and Samm Henshaw.

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