Mobile music discovery firm Shazam, whose popular smartphone app helps identify unknown songs playing on nearby televisions, mobile devices and radios, has revealed its list of 2011’s most popular artists based on user searches. The service has also laid bets on the musicians it expects to storm the charts in 2012, with predictions inspired by the number of times musicians were "tagged," or identified by user queries.
After analyzing customer and song data, including searches linked to TV shows and music videos, the year’s big winner appears to be Adele, whose singles "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You" notched six million-plus tags combined. Other big winners include LMFAO ("Party Rock Anthem," 3.4 million), Pitbull ("Give Me Everything," 3.3 million) and Foster the People ("Pumped Up Kicks," 3.2 million). The Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez and Maroon 5 also round out the list of top 10 acts, according to Shazam's press release.
Cameos on television show soundtracks and commercials are cited by the service as one of the biggest drivers of overall song popularity beyond radio airplay. According to Shazam, tracks such as Led Zeppelin’s "Going to California" and Joni Mitchell’s "A Case of You" enjoyed a major surge in fan interest following appearances on "Entourage" and "Parenthood," respectively.
Shazam predicted breakout performances by artists Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky, YG, Kreayshawn, Lana Del Rey and Spector in 2012, thanks to copious user tags. Unsurprisingly, all are expected to release albums in the new year, which could easily account for the greater volume of noise and listener interest surrounding their projects.