Are you wondering who is going to be the Next Big Sound? Then stay tuned for updates to our chart. 

Since 2010, music analytics company Next Big Sound has provided Billboard with not only the Social 50 chart, which tracks the most popular artists online, but also a chart of the fastest accelerating artists across the internet. The latter aims to identify emerging talent before they reach mainstream success, and some of most popular artists in recent memory, including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Alabama Shakes, Iggy Azalea and many more, have appeared on the Next Big Sound chart – years before their big break. 

As of this week, the methodology that powers this chart has been revised. The new version of the Next Big Sound chart takes advantage of our predictive capabilities. The updated algorithm, built by the Next Big Sound data science team, aims to predict which artists are most likely to hit the Billboard 200 chart for the first time within a year. 

The model is based on artists that have previously reached this milestone and the social activity that preceded this success, across social sources that include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and SoundCloud, and different transformations of these metrics. Totals, daily values, rate of growth across these sources are all factored in, to help assign a likelihood of success for the hundreds of thousands of artists in the Next Big Sound database, and surface those that are on the path to success. 

In addition to this model, artists are now permitted repeat performances, and are eliminated once they reach mainstream success in the form of reaching any major Billboard chart, such as the Billboard Hot 100, Artist 100, Social 50 or any genre-specific charts such as Pop or R&B/Hip Hop.

Given these updates, the Next Big Sound chart will now feature artists whose data indicates they are on a rapid march to success, and it will be possible to follow their progress to mainstream popularity. Topping our first edition of the revised chart are Seattle-bred electronic duo Odesza, who have been making waves in recent months in the lead up to the release of their upcoming album In Return, due to drop in early September. 

Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, Forbes, Billboard, Hypebot and more.