At Next Big Sound, we have always been fascinated by the power of data to predict tomorrow’s music stars. Recently we developed an algorithm that creates a list of the emerging artists who are most likely to break out this year. Over time we tweaked this formula enhancing its forecasting ability, to the point that we’ve been able to patent its powers of prediction. This article describes how to pinpoint breakout artists 500 times better than random chance, up to a year in advance.
For instance, in June 2012, both Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky had released acclaimed mixtapes but no studio albums or hit Billboard songs. We predicted both to explode based on their social media data in June 2012. Their debut studio albums opened at #1 and #2 months later on the Billboard 200, with Lamar now counting a total of nine singles that have hit the Hot 100 and A$AP Rocky a total of three.