tonight twelve acts from the UK and Ireland will battle it out for the coveted 2012 Mercury Prize. Established in 1992, the hotly contested trophy – awarded for musical merit alone – has been taken home by the likes of Primal Scream, Dizzee Rascal, Arctic Monkeys, The xx and – last year’s winner - PJ Harvey. This year, based on listener data, Alt-J should walk away with the title and the £20,000 prize, but will the judges’ decisions be in tune with the people’s verdict? has been studying the 12 finalists, their scrobbles, their listeners, the average plays per day and how often each listener plays the album from across more than 600 digital music platforms.

Based on scrobbles alone, Ben Howard leads with an incredible 4,081,716. However his album has also been out the longest, having been released in October 2011. Second place is Alt-J with 3,366,745 scrobbles followed by The Maccabees with 1,953,080 album scrobbles.

Ben Howard also has the highest number of listeners (161,194) for ‘Every Kingdom‘, though this could also be attributed to his early album release. Second place again falls to Alt-J with 84,241, and third goes to Michael Kiwanuka with 82,476.
Alt-J received the most scrobbles per day with 23,218. They also boast the highest average scrobbles per listener, with the average listener clocking up 39 track plays, showing their songs can be listened to time and again. Jessie Ware and Ben Howard come in a distant second and third.

However, tomorrow night’s decision is in the judges’ hands.