Eurovision 2017 YouTube Week 1: Methodology!

What secrets do the YouTube videos of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contests entries hold?

The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Kyiv, Ukraine on Saturday, May 13. (Logo: Eurovision) The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Kyiv, Ukraine on Saturday, May 13. (Logo: Eurovision)

As of this writing, 42 of the 43 entries for Eurovision 2017 have been revealed and 40 of those 42 entries have videos on the official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel. Now seems like a good time to talk about a metric we will be watching more closely in our coverage of this year’s Contest: YouTube views.

First, let’s pull back the curtain as to how we tabulate our predictions for success in the semi-finals. Once all the entries are known but before we start our deep dive coverage of the semi-finals, each of our writers will rank the entries within each semi-final. This ranking is based on our own music preferences and taste and is designed to numerically share with one other where each of our heads is at in terms of the crop of entries in a given year. These rankings don’t actually factor into the math of our final predictions, but they do give us a benchmark in terms of how opinions can shift over the following two months.

In mid-April, we do another writers’ ranking. This time, the ranking is based on the question “which entry will qualify for the Grand Final?” The entry most likely to qualify will be marked as 1 and the least likely to qualify ranked at n.1 At this time, we also record the odds as reported by the website oddschecker.com and rank in a similar fashion.

Last year we began incorporating YouTube views based on the Official Music Videos posted on Eurovision’s YouTube channel. This metric is helpful because it isn’t restricted by geography while also being a centralized data point. It isn’t perfect–for example, Sergey Lazarev’s video had significantly more views on his own YouTube channel because he already had a well-established social media presence and fanbase. On the flipside, YouTube was the only predictor that pointed toward Poland finishing in 3rd place in the televote.

This year, we will be looking at data on a week-to-week basis. Which songs will be the big movers? Will a replacement catch the ears and eyes of viewers? Will a performance at a pre-Eurovision event drive up plays? We should keep an eye on that.

Right before each semi-final, we do one more ranking of all data points and add them up. The ten entries with the best scores end up as our picks.

Are there other data points we should be looking at? Hit us with the digits.

  1. n is equal to the number of entries competing.  

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