No matter how well-connected, tuned in, or in-the-know you may be, staying on top of what’s new and hot in music isn’t easy. Today, it’s harder than ever, thanks to the blink-and-you-missed-it pace of digital life. Have you ever stumbled upon a sold-out show headlined by an artist you’ve never heard of, with a rabid fanbase of their very own, and wondered: Where does this kind of buzz even come from?

There’s no easy answer — thanks to YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, and beyond, new artists can directly engage potential fans like never before. And if you’re involved in the music business, knowing which artists listeners are excited about (especially before everyone else does) is key to success.

Thanks to Eventbrite partner and music data aggregator Bandsintown, who recently launched their own Monthly Emerging Artists Charts, that task is now a little bit easier.

Discover who’s hot before they break

What differentiates these charts from others is that they’re based on Bandsintown’s own listener data. In other words, they track fan engagement rather than sales, which makes them more likely to identify buzzy new artists before they’re already the next big thing.

“Our worldwide, US, and local city Bandsintown charts weigh a formula that blends artist follower growth and engagement by our 50-million strong registered userbase,” says Fabrice Sergent, Managing Partner at Bandsintown. “More than half of this fan activity is for developing and mid-level artists.”

“Other live music charts measure past activity: tickets sold,” he explains. “Our charts measure current growth in fans, and those fans’ activity on our site, which can predict future ticket sales, particularly when combined with data from streaming sites, social media activity, and other sources.”

Keeping a local focus

Right now, Bandsintown offers a global and US-specific aggregate chart. But they also offer charts for ten American metro markets, offering a unique local perspective. “Many artists develop a live fanbase long before they’re ‘discovered’ by streaming services,” says Sergent. “Of course, these fanbases vary between American cities, and our charts can help you discover what’s bubbling up in markets closest to you,” he adds.

Currently, Bandsintown offers chart functionality for Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; and San Francisco, CA.

Tying the pieces together

“Bandsintown has always been about celebrating live music and helping fans discover new artists and their shows,” Sergent says. “These charts further that mission, and are broken down by Buzzing (early stage), Emerging (middle stage), and Established artist charts. We designed these charts to be both fun for fans and smart business for talent buyers, promoters, and A&R types — anyone who wants to know about great artists long before they become popular,” he says.

Check out Bandsintown’s charts, and read more about how they’re put together and what they’re about.