Monday, 19 May 2008

Eurovision 2008 - predicting the winner using internet data!

The Eurovision song contest 2008 has a significant internet footprint with websites, blogs, YouTube channels and photo galleries highlighting contestants and various aspects of the competition.

2009 UPDATE - Google's 2009 Eurovision Predictor!

In theory it is possible to use internet trends to predict who will do well in Eurovision 2008 (maybe even pick the winner) by looking at which artist / country has created the most buzz online. Currently analysis of internet activity suggests Greece could be the country to back!

1) Activity on the official Eurovision website suggests Greece is the most popular entry

The main centre of activity online is the eurovision.tv website. The official Eurovision 2008 website produces a constant stream of news, whilst also acting as a hub for other things like the Eurovision 2008 blogs (MyEurovision) and the Eurovision 2008 YouTube channel.

Official Eurovision website

The MyEurovision blogs have a tag cloud that shows the most popular topics discussed by contributors:
Official Eurovision website blog tag cloud

This tag cloud shows that the most popular country discussed on the official Eurovision blogs is Greece, followed by Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. There are no polls on the eurovision.tv site, but the most buzz is clearly around Greek entry.

2) Activity on the websites of national broadcasters favours Greece

National broadcasters are running their own Eurovision 2008 websites. The BBC have a well developed microsite at www.bbc.co.uk/eurovision and users can watch video performances of all the songs. They do not have a visible viewer count though and with no user polls it is difficult to gain any insight into what British Eurovision fans are thinking.

Screengrab of BBC Eurovision site

(UPDATE - the BBC have published the results of their online poll and have tipped Sweden to win - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7400508.stm)

It's more interesting to look at sites like the website for German Eurovision Song Contest broadcaster NDR. Their recent poll of Germans created the following results. First place was Germany (surprise), second Greece, third Armenia, fourth Sweden and fifth place was Serbia.

3) Views on Eurovision YouTube channels favour a range of countries, but Greece is still popular

View count on YouTube can give an indication as to the popularity of each entry. There are a number of Eurovision channels on YouTube, with the main ones being the official channel at www.youtube.com/eurovision and unofficial Eurovision channels at www.youtube.com/esctoday and http://www.youtube.com/eurovision2008serbia.

YouTube view count for Eurovision2008serbia YouTube channel

The most watched 2008 videos on the ESC today YouTube channel are for Kalomira, the Greek entry. Whilst this entry is also popular on the Eurovision2008serbia YouTube channel, the most viewed songs here are from Romania, Spain and France. On the main Eurovision YouTube site the most viewed videos are for Greece, Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium (though the popularity of the Belgium video may be more down to a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ than people liking the song!)


Belgian entry Ishtar has a 'wardrobe malfunction' in rehearsal

4) Google Trends shows that more people are searching on Google for Kalomoira / Kalomoira than any other Eurovision act

Google trends shows volume of searches on Google for different Eurovision acts. The combination of Kalomoira / Kalomira results in a greater number of Google queries than any other act. Dima Bilan and Charlotte Perelli also have significant search volumes, but on Google the Eurovision entry for Greece is the most popular.

Google trends data shows Greek entry is most searched for on Google

(Note – the biggest search engine in Russia is Yandex not Google, so these results are more an indication of Western European taste rather than evidence from all 43 countries. It is also notable that Eurovision searches on Google are predominantly from Greece!)

Summary

The fact that Greece has the most internet hype around its Eurovision 2008 entry, may well be linked to the fact that Greek people are searching for Eurovision more than anyone else. Internet buzz is also skewed to Western Europe where internet penetration is higher. However, whilst Russia are the clear favourite (especially given the way the voting works), the above data suggests that Greece have a good chance!

Related posts
Eurovision 2009 - the Google Predictor tool!
Eurovision 2009 re-introduces jury voting - wisdom of crowds not always productive?!

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