Aside from the X Factor juggernaut and its short-lived guarantee of record sales, the practice of predicting who is likely to storm the charts is one fraught with difficulties.
The BBC’s annual ‘Sound of...’ project, where a wide range of industry pundits are asked to name three artists they expect to make waves, has previously produced mixed results, with the benefit of hindsight.
Past winners have included names who have gone on to sell millions of records, including Adele (2008), Keane (2004) and 50 Cent (2003). But others, such as last year’s winner Michael Kiwanuka, have so far failed to land in the lap of the mainstream.
Today the BBC has announced its longlist for 2013, which includes hotly-tipped Glasgow electro-pop group CHVRCHES.
The trio have already amassed a large online following, won high-profile support slots and have been featured in The Scotsman and our music blog Radar, despite the fact that they have only released two tracks to date.
The 15 acts range from the garage rock of Palma Violets to the modern RnB of London duo AlunaGeorge.
The contest is not restricted to British musicians, with Toronto singer The Weeknd and Californian girl group HAIM also making the list.
A top five will be revealed on December 31, counting down one a day until January 4 when Huw Stephens will announce the BBC Sound of 2013 winner live on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show.
Whether or not the winner goes on to achieve fame and fortune is anyone’s guess.
The full list of nominees:
Little Green Cars