Pepsi is celebrating up-and-coming artists by launching a new system that rates their popularity based on social media buzz around them. The iconic soda brand launched The Pepsi Music Index, a live ranking engine which analyses people’s real-time opinions on the performers and presents ‘the feedback’ in a clear ranking. The new system is very similar to the MTV Music Meter launched in mid-December 2010, which also builds a chart of the most popular emerging performers based on real-time discussions about them in the digital world.
The brand presented The Pepsi Music Index at the South by Southwest Music festival (SXSW), which was running in Austin, TX from March 11 through March 20. PepsiCo commissioned The Fader, a United States-based music/culture/fashion magazine, to pick up 250 emerging bands with 100 of which to be then featured in the ranking—they also were invited to perform on the festival stage. The developers built a discovery engine, which is ‘reading’ statuses, updates, posts and tweets in real time to figure out which 100 performers of the 250 are most discussed (the bigger digital buzz a band creates, the higher position it takes) and so have a potential to succeed on a music scene and have record sales in future. Pepsi’s engine, powered by Bluefin Labs, is “scientifically analyzing real-time conversations about the artists across the social ecosystem” as the press release states.
The ranking was projected onto large monitors at The Fader Fort in Austin, TX, at SXSW from March 16 through March 19, during the Music week of the festival. It’s not mentioned when PepsiCo and The Fader will continue the initiative beyond the festival and choose another two hundred and a half artists to be ranked based on their popularity around the web. ”We’re excited about the possibilities inherent in the Pepsi Music Index, the value it can provide to the music community and look forward to learning and continuing to refine the index together with fans and the music community,” commented Shiv Singh, head of digital for PepsiCo Beverages.