By: Nick Gambino

Spotify announced this past Friday that they are getting into the music awards arena with their own show broadcasting from Mexico City.

With a wealth of streaming data and access to listener habits at their fingertips, Spotify has decided to do things a bit different than your typical awards show (the Grammys, CMAs, etc.). Instead of a select body of voters determining who will be nominated and ultimately win, the streaming giant is allowing all of that to be determined by listers.

This is more in line with how the Billboard Music Awards conduct themselves. By placing power in the hands of listeners and fans, they are creating a truly democratic music awards experience.

That doesn’t mean subscribers will be casting a vote – not in the traditional sense anyway. No, Spotify is planning on nominating and awarding based on the number of listens and other undefined criteria. In other words, the more popular the artist is on Spotify, the more likely they are to make the list.

“Your plays, patterns, and habits will help determine the award categories, finalists, and winners, for the Spotify Awards by providing a true reflection of what fans are listening to,” Spotify said in an announcement of the show. “You can get excited for an awards ceremony that actually speaks to what the people are streaming.”

While I’m a “by the people, for the people” kind of guy, this scares me. I’m not sure I want to know what the majority of people are listening to. What little faith I have left, tells me we’ll probably end up with a bunch of multi-colored hair, Skittle-teeth “Lil’s” running around on stage. “The award for most unintelligible mumble goes to…”

The show is set to broadcast live on TNT in Latin America, and one can assume somewhere online – probably directly in the Spotify app. It’s not clear whether there will be any English coverage, but it seems unlikely.

You’re probably wondering why they would choose to go outside the U.S. for their inaugural presentation. That’s a fair question and one I had myself. The decision to host the show in Mexico and broadcast in Spanish is due to the wild popularity of the streaming platform in the country.

“The Mexican capital has the most listeners on Spotify globally, ahead of even New York City, London, and Paris,” the announcement said.

Launching in the North American country in 2013, the streaming service has exploded, cementing itself as a top choice for instant music.

The Spotify Awards broadcasts live on March 5, 2020.