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The Friday#: US Electoral Compass + The Mercury Prize

This Week’s Issue:

The Sizzle: Dotcom. The Fri-Up: Mercury. The Sauce: Chess Club.

Your weekly round-up of the hottest stories worldwide, served with a slice of topical social media analysis and a dollop of Friday fun

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The Sizzle:

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The Fri-Up: The Mercury Music Prize.

The Mercury Music Award is one of the most prestigious prizes in the UK Music calendar. It annually honours the best album from the UK and Ireland and it has a reputation for breaking down the barriers in awarding the album to the best musically produced ‘body of work’ placing little relevance on album sales or notoriety. Due to the depths from which nominations are pulled and also because nominations are chosen by a panel of musicians, music executives, journalists and other figures in the music industry, it is notoriously difficult to predict the winner.

We at Brandwatch placed our bets with the bookies weeks ago, knowing that for this particularly illusive prize, scouring social networks would provide little insight as to how music industry judges would vote a few days before. After the event however, it gives us the opportunity to see how internationally famous artists like Plan B line up alongside the little known acts such as Field Music, and how the nomination for the Mercury prize has shaped their social media journey.

In the interests of leveling the field, mentions were reqired to feature the artist in conjunction with either their Mercury nominated album title, or Mercury. The history graph belows shows mentions of each act from the day that the nominations were announced until the day before the winner was revealed.

Fig 1. History graph of mentions for nominees from 11th Sept to 31st October.

The Friday#: US Electoral Compass + The Mercury Prize image Mercury history

Looking at mentions across the month, although Alt-J were fairly prominent as the nominees were announced, they generally dipped over the course of the month. Psychadelic quartet, Django Django, did noticably better, helped in their standings by a slew of festival appearances over the summer as well as a late September and October tour. Plan B, as an established artist, peaked early as his album hit the Mobo nominations just days after his Mercury nom. Richard Hawley benefitted from a single release on the week ending October 1st.

Fig 2. Percentage of mentions from 11th Sept to 31st October 2012.

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If we look at the number of mentions across the whole judging period, Alt J are convincing contenders despite a large proportion of their mentions being racked up in the first 24 hours. Django Django are however the ‘people’s winners’ topping the internationally famous Plan B in terms of Mercury mentions.

That’s it for another year. Unfortunately for Alt-J, the Mercury Prize has a reputation for a curse that goes with it and a nomination doesn’t necessarily equal greatly increased sales or mainstream popularity. That said, 2010 winners The XX bucked this trend and the prize launched them into relative superstardom and lucrative snyc deals from Hollyoaks to Call Of Duty.

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Brandwatch’s US Electoral Compass

Which issues are most important to voters in the battle for the White House?

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With the presidential election almost upon us, the push to win voters will become even more crucial over the next few days. The election race has been a tight one so far, sowe’ve taken to social media to see what ‘the people’ really think. Social media is becoming increasingly significant as a source of insight to political attitudes.

Presenting the Brandwatch US Electoral Compass 2012.

How to use the compass:

• Choose a state from the menu on the left.

• Choose different weeks of data, since July, at the bottom.

• On the right hand side, you can see the importance ranking of the 30 biggest policy areas according to social media chat in that state.

• The compass in the middle shows stats about the policies, broken down by Obama and Romney focused tweets and press.

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The Sauce:

Something for the weekend:

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Hope you enjoyed the Friday#, have a great weekend.

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