Research: Which Hits Shazam Doesn't Spot Early
June 7, 2016 at 3:21 PM (PT)
In the third of INTEGR8's series on how SHAZAM can help predict the hits, the research company examines how, while the app has a proven track record of spotting hits outside of Top 40's typical sound, it "doesn’t perform nearly as well at helping programmers spot Pop and Pop Rock hits from established CHR artists."
WALK THE MOON's “Shut Up And Dance,” TAYLOR SWIFT's “Blank Space,” ELLIE GOULDING’s “Love Me Like You Do” and RACHEL PLATTEN’s “Fight Song,” actually didn’t show up on SHAZAM’s Top 10 until a week or two after they were already Top 10 on the BILLBOARD HOT 100.
Why was SHAZAM late in predicting some of radio’s biggest hits? The reason why people SHAZAM a song in the first place is not only because they like it, but because it’s new and intriguing and they want to know the artist and title. TAYLOR SWIFT is already well-known and identifiable, so she doesn't show up on SHAZAM charts.
Songs that first become big hits on streaming don't show up on SHAZAM, because the listener already knows the song from typing in the title or artist, or seeing it on the screen..
FETTY WAP’s “Trap Queen” was the 36th biggest song on radio, but was the #1 most streamed song. However, “Trap Queen” didn’t become Top 10 on SHAZAM until the same week it went Top 10 on the Hot 100.
WIZ KHALIFA's "See You Again" and THE WEEKND's “Earned It” were among the biggest hits on both streaming and on radio. Both songs went Top 10 on SHAZAM no earlier than they went Top 10 on BILLBOARD.
It’s likely that listeners only SHAZAM these songs when they start hearing them on the radio. That would explain why songs that were huge on streaming but not on radio, such as SILENTO’s “Watch Me” (#3 in streaming in 2015) and T-WAYNE’s “Nasty Freestyle” (#21 in streaming in 2015), never entered SHAZAM’s Top 10.
Songs that SHAZAM said would become Top 10 hits...and didn’t
As our first post noted, 73% of songs that reach SHAZAM’s Top 10 ultimately become Top 10 hits on the BILLBOARD Hot 100. What about the other 27%? Most of those songs aren’t duds.
21% reach the Top 30 on BILLBOARD, such as ELLIE GOULDING’s “On My Mind” and DEMI LOVATO’s “Cool for the Summer.”
Other songs that reach SHAZAM’s Top 10 don’t achieve massive crossover appeal, but are still big hits in specific formats.
POST MALONE’s “White Iverson” and RICH HOMIE QUAN’s “Flex” were both highly relevant to Urban radio.
EMPIRE OF THE SUN's “Walking On A Dream”, originally from 2008, is having a second run on Alternative radio after appearing in a HONDA commercial.
There are a small number (6%) that reach SHAZAM’s Top 10 and never become real hits. Examples include:
MACKLEMORE, RYAN LEWIS and ED SHEERAN's “Growing Up (Sloane's Song)” which caught listeners’ attention with interesting lyrics (in this case, an ode to parenting), but isn’t the kind of song people ultimately want to hear on the radio.
Album cuts, such as the title track from ALABAMA SHAKES’ “Sound & Color”.
Spotting the 6% of Top 10 most SHAZAMed songs that never chart at all on the BILLBOARD HOT 100 is usually easy because of the songs themselves; however, these songs are also easy to spot because they only stay in SHAZAM ’s Top 10 for one week.