Traditionally ‘ones to watch’ lists have been put together through a combination of tastemakers tips and a level of label marketing. This year, MTV UK & Ireland – a division of Viacom International Media Networks - has taken a different tack, enlisting the help of Musicmetric to take fans’ online response to an artist into account. The search for an unsigned artist ends today with Context (formerly Context MC) crowned the winner of the unsigned slot on the MTV Brand New for 2012 list.

With more and more fans discovering and interacting with bands online, looking at online buzz as a major part of Brand New for 2012 is a fresh and forward looking take. The metrics we chart add a completely new and dimension, arguably giving more realistic insight as to how the artist will fare in the real world - beyond the list and label marketing.

Artists like Lana Del Rey making such a big impact through social media channels (such as YouTube) in the last year only serves to highlight how important these metrics are now for all artists. For MTV to allow an unsigned artist onto their Brand New list (alongside Del Rey) based on online buzz is a great step.

During the course of the unsigned competition The 500 long-list artists together generated the following across social media -

New Fans: 107,181
New Plays: 3,552,848

From the start of the competition and throughout, each artist has been tracked with Musicmetric providing daily statistics on which artists have risen the most in terms of their buzz; an aggregate of votes, plays, new fans and comments over the last 24 hours. For the first time these stats are able to be seen at a level of accuracy and comprehensiveness that has given MTV the confidence to put their weight behind such an innovative approach.