Predicting the winner of Eurovision 2013 with social media

Good evening, Malmö, MintTwist calling! It’s that time of year again. For one night each year, the whole of Europe …

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Good evening, Malmö, MintTwist calling! It’s that time of year again. For one night each year, the whole of Europe gets treated to the delights of the continent’s finest musical acts. In the world’s largest music competition extravaganza, approximately 125 million people will tune in to see who gets awarded douze points.

But, as I did last year, I wanted to see if you can predict the winner of Eurovision through social media signals. Social media has become an increasingly important data collection tool and gauge for sentiment.

So, without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty of our Social Media Eurovision Prediction Test!

The metrics

The metrics this year are as follows:

  • Number of YouTube plays on the official video for the song uploaded by the official Eurovision channel. We have not included plays of rehearsals, fan uploads or other official music videos in order to make it as fair as possible.
  • Number of YouTube likes on the official video for the song uploaded by the official Eurovision channel.
  • Number of search results indexed
  • Number of Twitter followers
  • Number of Facebook likes
  • The amount of Facebook conversations

Points system

Just like on the night, we ranked each finalist and award them 12, 10 and 8-1 points if they ranked in the top ten for that metric.

Things to note:

After this analysis last year, I have doubled the points awarded to YouTube plays and YouTube likes – if you get the most plays on YouTube you will be awarded 24 points instead of 12. Last year, the analysis didn’t take this into account and skewed the final results. Established artists with strong social media profiles ranked highly but this didn’t translate into points on the night. Therefore, I have decided to give greater weighting to the YouTube metrics.

I looked into the number of people in Google+ circles but so few entrants had a Google+ page that it seemed pointless to include.

The Google search string used the following syntax: “artist name” + “song title”.

Where there are artists performing together, we took the data from the most popular social media profile.

The analysis also does not take into account other influencing factors – the language of the song, the differing sizes of population, block voting and Internet penetration in different countries. There are many countries in Europe with small Internet populations in which case, their social media profile may be smaller.

Finally, this analysis does not take into account sentiment for the song or artist(s). In spite of the opinion felt by many sceptics, generally a good song wins (especially since the inclusion of a jury during the voting procedure). You could be the most social media savvy, well liked contestant ever but if your song isn’t great, then you probably won’t win.

12 points go to…

Without further ado – let’s begin with the rankings!

Twitter followers

Italy, who up until recently stopped participating, has the act with the strongest Twitter presence – almost 350% more than the next most popular act. Interestingly, there are a few acts with virtually no Twitter presence (at least I couldn’t find them). Do you think this will negatively impact these countries’ chances on the night?

Facebook likes

Germany is represented by Cascada –Euro-pop wonders that have had a string of hits in many different countries so it’s not surprising to see they have the most likes.

Germany has 1,607,428% more Facebook likes than Iceland – who come in last with only 121 likes.

Facebook conversations

I found the number of Facebook conversations to be really interesting, especially when you look at the likes to conversion ratio. Countries that appear lower down on the list for overall likes often appear higher in the rankings for the number of conversations occurring.

The best performing countries for the likes-to-conversation ratio are:

1 Germany 360:7
2 Estonia 131:8
3 Netherlands 95:8
4 Belgium 81:5
5 Iceland 64:9
6 Ireland 62:9
7 Georgia 40:3
8 Spain 35:1
9 France 23:3
10 Denmark 21:8

We can see that this completely changes the movers and the shakers and might perhaps better represent the sentiment and attitude towards each country’s song. websites indexed

Using some SEO techniques like site:search can also help us with the predictions. It is interesting to see Ireland have so many websites indexed!  In virtually all other areas, they are either in the middle or towards the end. Interestingly, Denmark ranks second and the second favourite to win, Norway, also picks up some points! .

YouTube likes

Now, if you can remember, YouTube metrics award double points – for the countries that have little to no social media presence, they could pick up enough points here to win this contest outright. Denmark has been the favourite to win for weeks now and it’s no surprise to see them first but look at that margin!

Denmark has nearly 100% more likes than Azerbaijan and over 1,637% more likes than Estonia in last place.

YouTube plays

Again, Denmark has completely dominated the YouTube video plays here with nearly 2 million plays before the competition has even aired.  It is interesting to see that only three countries have had more than 1 million plays so far and two of them have relatively small populations – Azerbaijan having 9 million and Denmark less than 6 million.

The results!

Denmark wins! Unsurprisingly, they have been the red hot favourites to win and while they scored low on their Twitter and Facebook rankings, their YouTube dominance means that they look unbeatable. In fact, Emmelie de Forest’s Only Teardrops is the first ever odds-on favourite to win the contest.

Is Emmelie de Forest your favourite?

Azerbaijan has proved very popular in recent years and this trend looks to continue. They won in 2011, came third in 2009 and finished inside the top 5 in both 2010 and last year.

Germany’s Cascada looks as though it could reach the upper echelons of the final vote but is unlikely to contest for the crown.

The countries that performed strongest in the YouTube rankings include Ukraine, Russia, Norway and Greece could also prove contenders and I would expect top 10 finishes for all of them with a top 5 finish for Norway and Ukraine.

But now it’s over to you!

What do you think? Who do you think will win the Eurovision Song Contest 2013? To play us out, I’ll leave you with our winner today – we’ll have to wait until Saturday evening to see if Denmark triumphs!

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