Billboard Music Awards 2015: Bieber, Gomez, Swift, Cyrus, Grande Get ‘Top Social Artist’ Nod

Justin Bieber has been nominated for the Top Social Artist award at the forthcoming 2015 Billboard Music Awards.

Although Bieber has won the gong for the last four years since 2011, this year he goes up against former girlfriend Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift.

The Top Social Artist Award is not based on fan votes, but on data compiled across social media platforms and tracked by Billboard and — specifically for this award — measured by music analytics company, Next Big Sound.

The winner will be drawn from criteria based on social media interactions such as “Likes,” “Follows,” subscribers, track plays, artist page views, “followers” on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, VEVO, Spotify, MySpace, SoundCloud, and other significant online networks and portals.

Currently sitting at 62.5 million followers on Twitter, over 24 million on Instagram, millions on Facebook and other platforms, Bieber placed No. 9 on Billboard’s end of year Top Male artists list last December, and No. 1 on the Social 50 chart for the second year in a row after clocking up over 100 weeks atop that chart.

This was despite taking a year’s break in 2014 for overly-documented reasons. The Top Social Artist award is based on the Social 50 chart, which ranks the most popular artists across social media platforms using all the criteria mentioned above as measured by Next Big Sound.

The 2015 Billboard Music Awards nominations were announced on Tuesday by Ludacris and Pete Wentz. The pair revealed the first round of nominees. Chrissy Teigen — who will be hosting the awards at the MGM Garden Grand Arena in Las Vegas on May 17 — rolled out the rest with Empire’s Jussie Smollet on Twitter. The event airs live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

Elsewhere in the categories, Swift leads with 14 entries in 13 fields. Hot on her heels is Brit torch singer Sam Smith, who racked up 13 nominations. Iggy Azalea stacked up 12 nods, while Meghan Trainor pulled in nine.

According to Billboard, nominations for finalists in the non-social media awards are pulled from album and digital song sales, radio airplay, touring, and streaming. The numbers are tracked all year by Billboard and Nielsen Music, and is based on the reporting period of March 10, 2014, through to March 8, 2015.

This year there are 40 chart-specific categories, but fans will get to choose the winner of just one: Billboard’s chart achievement award.

You can vote by visiting Billboard.com, BillboardMusicAwards.com and Twitter. Nominees for this award include Swift, Trainor, and Azalea.

To see the full list of 2015 Billboard Music Awards finalists — including Justin Bieber — click the highlighted link.

[Images via Getty Images]