Forget about public votes – which top artists would win an MTV EMA if online data was the only judge?

The MTV Europe Awards 2021 are approaching, hosted by rapper Saweetie live from Hungary on Sunday 14 November. Voting has closed but, before the winners are announced, music analysts Viberate have investigated which nominees would emerge victorious if data alone was the deciding factor.

Viberate looked at the online popularity of nominees from four MTV EMA categories from November 2020 to November 2021. The results clearly show the huge impact that clever engagement with fans online has on artist popularity, and how long-awaited new releases drive up numbers.

Four award categories were analysed by Viberate for the investigation: Best Artist, Best New, Best Group, and Best Push.

Viberate data shows that Pop music dominated nominees in all four analysed categories, with 60% of artists sitting in the genre. And despite the awards being focused on Europe, only six of the 27 nominated artists were from European countries.

The MTV EMAs are decided by public vote – so, in theory, the analysis of nominees should match up well with the real winners. Here’s a little of what the Viberate statistics uncovered.

MTV EMA Best Group 2021

Judging by statistics, the Best Group title will be taken by BTS. That comes down to the support from their millions of loyal fans online. The BTS June 2021 single “Butter” has nearly 640 million streams on Spotify.

Image Credit: Viberate

Meanwhile, Italian band and Eurovision winners Måneskin are the most popular European group, and third biggest overall.

MTV EMA Best Artist 2021

Justin Bieber is the most-nominated artist, with eight MTV Award nominations in total. According to data, he’d take the Best Artist crown, with his savvy use of Instagram pushing the numbers up.

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Ed Sheeran’s second place position in that category coincides with the release of =, his first album since 2019. He has had nearly three billion views on YouTube in the last year.

MTV EMA Best New Artist 2021

Olivia Rodrigo comes out on top as the most popular artist in the Best New category, beating Rauw Alejandro, The Kid LAROI, Saweetie, Giveon, and Griff, in that order.

Image Credit: Viberate

Rodrigo’s single “Driver’s License” and album Sour led to an explosion in popularity at the beginning of the year, pushing her from Disney artist to mainstream prominence.

Image Credit: Viberate

Viberate point to fan engagement, on YouTube particularly, as the main reason Rauw Alejandro might bag second place in the Best New category. His videos had over three billion views in a year.

MTV EMA Best Push 2021

Olivia Rodrigo’s newfound fame in 2021 means that the singer would also grab the Best Push award, going by the year’s online statistics.

Image Credit: Viberate

Music award shows have suffered in recent years, and not just because of the lack of in-person attendance with the pandemic. GRAMMY viewing figures have slumped, down 51% from 2020, whilst behind-the-scenes controversies have made fans, and artists like The Weeknd, turn away.

The MTV Europe Awards are in a stronger position due to the popular vote structure, which might ensure higher viewing figures from fans tuning in to see if their vote counted. There’ll be performances from the likes of Ed Sheeran, girl in red and Yungblud.

There’s not long to wait to see if Viberate’s predictions, based on stats alone, match up with Sunday’s MTV winners.