Will Google’s 2016 tips list prove more shrewd than the BBC’s?

They’re both media giants on a worldwide scale, and they’ve both just released their list of tips for new music artists in 2016.

In the red corner, the BBC, whose new 15-artist Sound Of… longlist includes the likes of Jack Garratt, Frances, Blossoms, NAO and Rat Boy.

In the blue corner, Google Play Music, whose 10-artist list has a few names, such as Aurora and Clean Cut Kid, you won’t find on the Beeb’s equivalent.

The BBC compiled its Sound Of… list by asking 144 critics and music business experts (including MBW) to cast votes.

Google Play Music has gone down a different route, calculating its list using a data-heavy formula with a mix of elements – including streaming volumes on Google Play Music, plus YouTube views, ‘social media community analysis’ and Google search metrics, as well as expert insight from members of the platform’s music team as well as some key industry tastemakers.

As a result, the list’s artists are perhaps higher in profile than some acts on the BBC’s equivalent list.

They include Aurora (pictured), signed to Decca in the UK and Glassnote in the US, who recently shot to fame after covering Oasis’s Half The World Away for the UK’s annual John Lewis Christmas ad.

Meanwhile, Jack Garratt also makes Google’s list. The Island-signed artist was not only included on the BBC’s Sound Of… 2016 list, but also won the BRITs Critics Choice prize for next year.
Here’s Google Play Music’s full Ones to Watch for 2016 Top 10:

  1. Frances
  2. Jack Garratt
  3. Clean Cut Kid
  4. Aurora
  5. Kali Uchis
  6. Anne-Marie
  7. Nao
  8. Tink
  9. Samm Henshaw
  10. Vant

Azi Eftekhari, Head of EMEA Music Partner Management at Google Play Music commented: “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.

“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 Garratt 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 Ones to Watch list has been announced alongside a new playlist featuring the artists which is available to Google Play Music subscribers from today.Music Business Worldwide

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