Latvia’s Supernova to use Spotify streaming data for voting

They’re the Baltic nation that has become a fan favourite in recent years. Now Latvia is taking the bold step of including streaming data from Spotify in the voting for its national final Supernova.

Broadcaster LSM has today announced that in partnership with Spotify and the Universal Music Group, Supernova will be able to take into account the online popularity of songs. Spotify are working to ensure that the system is accurate and can not be gamed for increased streams.

Supernova producer Ilze Jansone notes that this is the first time streaming data will be used to determine the results of any sort of Eurovision contest.

The move to include streaming data comes at a time when more people are streaming music, rather than purchasing it, especially in the Baltic region. Universal Music Group representative Petri Mannonen put it simply: “The more you listen to a song on Spotify, the more it is likely to become a hit. It’s a fact.”

Talent shows that use streaming data are so hot right now. Latvia’s announcement follows the Norwegian television talent show The Stream, which uses Spotify data to determine which acts will be eliminated. The format has recently been sold to NBC in the United States.

Supernova will also use an international jury. Helping Latvia decide will be Petri Mannonen (Universal Music), Matthias Müller (BMG Rights Management/Crazy Planet Records), Fruzsina Szép (Lollapalooza Berlin), Joy Deb (co-writer of ESC 2015 winner “Heroes”).

For Supernova 2016, Latvia included an online vote, open to fans from outside the country as well as Latvians. It ensured that the metal band Catalepsia — whose song “Damnation” won the televote — did not win the overall competition, with the online vote ensuring that Justs and his song “Heartbeat” won the competition.

The Supernova shows are due to begin in January, with the grand final scheduled for 26 February.

What do you think? Should Eurovision voting include streaming data as well? Share your thoughts below!