The Popular Vote: Polls vs. Data

Sure, polling is great, but have you tried charts?
The Popular Vote: Polls vs. Data
Vasja Veber

Ever wondered about the different results you’d get depending on whether you organized a poll or looked at online data? We usually do.

We recently did just that when DJ Mag announced the winners of their annual Top 100 DJs poll. The public vote reportedly included over 1M people and again crowned David Guetta as the world's no. 1 DJ. Independently of the vote, we looked into the online popularity data of all Electronic artists to see if and how the results match up.

There’s quite a difference.

According to our data, Marshmello, David Guetta, Alan Walker, Calvin Harris and The Chainsmokers are the top 5 most popular Electronic artists of the last 12 months. In DJ Mag’s poll, the top five spots went to David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Alok and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike.

Our Top 10 list is rounded off by Martin Garrix, Tiësto, Skrillex, DJ Snake and Alok. Interestingly enough, the “crowd favorites”, such as Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren and Afrojack (ranked 6th in DJ Mag’s poll), did not make the Top 10.

Why the difference?

Though polls are a valid survey tool, they can often be biased. Just think about how many times you’ve helped your friends by clicking through a prize-winning game to increase their chances of winning. Data, on the other hand, is much more transparent. 

Fans across the globe reward their favorite artists on a daily basis by streaming their music, viewing their videos, liking their social media posts, and buying their tracks – in addition to casting their votes in online polls. In the end, data offers a much more objective overview of how popular an artist really is.

Here’s what we also found out.

Dance is the most popular genre. 72% of the top 100 artists are Dance (EDM) artists, 10% are House artists, and other genres are less represented.

Several artists have made a big leap in 2021 and entered the Top 100 chart. These include Imanbek (49th), Nightcrawlers and Riton (43rd and 47th, respectively), A7S (35th) and Topic (32nd).

Collabs are the way to go. Thanks to the success of tracks such as “Friday” (Nightcrawlers & Riton), “Your Love” (A7S & Topic) and “Breaking Me” (A7S & Topic), the aforementioned artists have jumped as many as 800 places up the Electronic Artists chart.

Memes work, too. South African artist The Kiffness placed 96th thanks to his musical renditions of “vibing cat”, “alugalug cat” and sea shanty memes, delighting audiences during the Covid-19 lockdown. The “Alugalug Cat” track alone was streamed more than 60K times on Spotify last week.

Compare the two Top 100 Electronic Artists lists below. If you want to know more, check out the charts yourself. You can try out Viberate analytics completely for free.

Vasja Veber

Vasja Veber

Founder & CBDO at Viberate
A music manager and a tech geek. Vasja is combining his two passions at Viberate, where his main mission as a co-founder is to tell music services that they need us desperately.