Can web traffic predict Grammy winners?

Now that the Grammys have come and gone, we thought it might be fun to see if web traffic could be used to predict the outcome of a few categories.  Specifically, we thought we’d take a look at the Record of the Year (for best individual song of the year) and Album of the Year (for best overall album) results.  Interestingly, both categories contained almost the exact same group of artists — Taylor Swift, Beyonce, the Black-Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga.  In the Record of the Year category, we add Kings of Leon, and in the Album of the Year, we remove the Kings and add the Dave Matthews Band.

Let’s start by using Compete Pro to compare the traffic to the artist’s websites.  First, for the Record of the Year (with Kings of Leon):

And the winner is"¦.Kings of Leon!  Yes, despite having much, much lower traffic, it was Kings of Leon that took Record of the Year for their song "Use Somebody".

Now onto the Album of the Year:

And the Grammy goes to"¦.Taylor Swift for her album "Fearless".  Once again, we have Ms. Swift coming in second on our traffic report to Lady Gaga, but first in the Grammys.  Incidentally, there is an interesting bump in Lady Gaga’s traffic starting in April of 2009 — right after her appearance on American Idol.   While this doesn’t prove the two events are connected — it is interesting, and shows the potential power of American Idol in both creating new stars and helping existing stars break to a bigger audience.

Bottom line, I don’t think I’ll be making bets in a Grammy pool based on website traffic.  It does, however, make me wish I knew more about the makeup of the audiences that visit each artist’s website.  Could it be, for instance, that Lady Gaga draws more traffic because her audience skews younger?

Using Compete Pro’s new Demographic data, I can see that Lady Gaga’s website tends to attract a younger audience vs. Taylor Swift’s website.

While demographic data is very useful, I’d love to know more information about the audience – where are they located geographically?  Or even more interesting – what movies are Taylor Swift fans interested in vs. Lady Gaga fans?  A great way for these websites to find out more about their audience (and a shameless plug on our part) would be for them to install the free CompeteXL code which would allow them to see more information about their audience via’s Audience Profile feature.

About Damian Roskill:
Damian Roskill is the Managing Director of Marketing at Compete. Before Compete Damian was head of products for a video start-up and has worked in start-ups for most of his career. Damian's career aspiration is to be at one with the advertising universe. Damian can be found on Twitter as Droskill, or connect with him on LinkedIn at