At the point this blog post goes live, it's 1pm on Thursday July 2nd - and we're exactly halfway through 2015.
As many of you already know, one of the most popular tools on Ents24 is the ability to 'track' artists and venues. Over a million people are currently doing this, and many more have done since we introduced tracking back in 2005.
Because of this, and because we list more artists (190,000+), more venues (70,000+) and more live events (110,600 at the time of writing) than anyone else in the country, it also enables us to find out some interesting things.
Which artists and performers have gained popularity fastest this year?
We decided to find out - and so here are the results. We're calling them The Stars of Track and Field.
Here's the top 20, in alphabetical order. Click on any artist/performer's name to see all their forthcoming gigs, shows or performances - or to start tracking them!
We also took a look at how that list changes when we divided you guys up by age group:
The Top 20: Users under 25s (alphabetical order)
The Top 20: Users aged 25-40 (alphabetical order)
The Top 20: Users over 40 (alphabetical order)
What We Learned
- James Bay, Catfish And The Bottlemen and Rae Morris have pricked up the ears of music-lovers of all ages – they're the only three artists to appear in the lists for all three age groups.
Comedy features across the ages, with Katherine Ryan and Louis C.K. for the under 25s, Harry Enfield, Reeves & Mortimer and Romesh Ranganathan all seeing a sharp rise in interest amongst the 25-40 year olds, and Harry and Paul and Reeves & Mortimer featuring amongst the over 40s, thanks to the new tours announced earlier this year.
Predictably enough, TV plays a big part in this story: many of the artists were propelled to stardom via a TV show (Stereo Kicks, Ben Haenow), gained a following via appearances or broadcast performances (Katherine Ryan, the many artists here that featured on the last series of Later... with Jools Holland etc) or are touring shows based on cult TV successes of the past (Harry and Paul, Reeves & Mortimer)
That said, YouTube also played a significant part in the popularity shift of the likes of Dan & Phil and Alfie Deyes, who also made the overall Top 20. Radio mattered too, not just in terms of plays for featured artists (airplay likely helped FFS, James Bay, Years & Years and others into the list), but also in providing a few stars of its own (The Two Mikes and Dan & Phil again).
Finally, perhaps the most obvious driver of popularity is touring. People track artists to find out when they're next playing a show, so artists that just don't perform live are unlikely to be tracked (although artists that play rarely still get tracked in high numbers, as people want to know the second a rare show is announced).
How We Did It
All of the 190,000 artists and 70,000 venues listed on Ents24 can be tracked – meaning visitors can choose to be alerted when an artist or venue adds a new show, moves a show, joins a festival bill and so on.
The Stars of Track and Field list consists of the 100 artists that saw the biggest increase in 'trackers' between Jan 1st and June 30th, 2015. To be eligible, an artist must have amassed at least 50 trackers.
The Full List
Here are the 100 artists, performers and entities that made the list, in alphabetical order. Again, click on any of them to find out more, see where they're touring, and to track them.
2Cellos / James Acaster / Alvvays / Amber Run / Ant & Dec's Takeaway On Tour / As It Is / Courtney Barnett/ James Bay / Aisling Bea / Beartooth / Benjamin Booker / Leon Bridges / Cabeytu Brothers / Luke Bryan / Catfish And The Bottlemen / Chronixx / Circa Waves / Collabro / Gino D'Acampo / Dan & Phil / Mac DeMarco / Alfie Deyes / Monty Don / Harry Enfield / George Ezra / Father John Misty / FFS / Florida Georgia Line / frnkiero and the cellabration / Jack Garratt / George The Poet / Jess Glynne / Ariana Grande / Marika Hackman / Hannah Wants / Ben Haenow/ Kevin Hart / Hozier / Ibeyi / Kygo / Låpsley / L7 / LoneLady / McAlmont & Butler / Bailey McConnell / Shawn Mendes / Milky Chance / Modern Baseball / Moose Blood / Caitlin Moran / Rae Morris / Nadine Shah / Nicholas McDonald / Nothing But Thieves / Luisa Omielan / Oliver Heldens / PINS /Prides/ PVRIS / Rag'N'Bone Man/ Romesh Ranganathan/Reeves & Mortimer/ Ride / Rock Of Ages (Touring)/ Run The Jewels/ Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox / Miranda Sings/ Skillet /Slaves/Sleaford Mods / Sam Smith / Soak / Songhoy Blues / Steve-O / The Two Mikes / Three Days Grace / Tove Lo / Meghan Trainor / twenty one pilots / Ward Thomas / Mr Tumble / Waxahatchee / Matthew E. White / Paul Whitehouse / William Hill World Darts Championships / Wolf Alice / Years & Years
We're celebrating our fifteenth anniversary this year as the home to the UK's most comprehensive guide to live entertainment; covering music, comedy, sport, family, theatre, clubbing and much more. We're also the UK's busiest ticketing destination after Ticketmaster, visited by 1.8 million people monthly, and we recently listed our four millionth event.