Wrapping Up The Year

Spotify Releases Annual User Music Summary

Ezra Baze

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Photo by Ezra Baze

Spotify has released its annual compilation of user listening habits- Spotify Wrapped. Listeners worldwide had the chance to look at a summary of their top artists, songs and podcasts in the form of brightly colored statistics. For Shayla Wulf (12), these numbers are the best part of Wrapped. “My favorite thing about Spotify Wrapped was seeing your stats and how much of a super fan you were for different artists,” Wulf said. -Made in Canva

Spotify users worldwide received a pleasant surprise on Nov. 30 when the app released its annual compilation of user-listening habits, also known as Spotify Wrapped.

The idea for Spotify Wrapped began as a marketing campaign for the streaming platform in 2016 and, since then, has gained viral popularity across numerous social media platforms.

“I think people who don’t use Spotify feel jealous when they see everyone else using it,” Abbey Atterberry (12) said, “And I think without it, people wouldn’t feel so inclined to use Spotify, but it’s still definitely fun.”

Because of its prevalence in the media, numerous other apps have attempted to replicate Wrapped. Still, for many, including math teacher Libby Stronz, the copies can’t compare to the original.

“I think it’s just ripping off [Spotify],” Stronz said. “It’s like when TikTok came out, then Instagram made Reels. No one cares, and Reels aren’t fun to watch because it’s always behind whatever’s new and current. You just want the original.”

Over the past six years, the streaming app’s summary has made additions and changes to the annual display. Each release includes a new feature, statistic and theme. This year, the introduction of listener types was incorporated into Spotify Wrapped.

“I don’t think anyone cares about what type of listener you are like if you’re a voyager,” Atterberry said. “I think they could get rid of that and replace it with something that’s more analytical.”

Another addition to Wrapped this year was Artist Messages, where select fans received a message from their top artists to thank them for listening to their music throughout the year.

“I got an artist message from Taylor Swift, Mitski and Peach Pit,” Atterberry said. “I think it’s cute, especially for people who are in their top listeners.”

While waiting for her annual compilation, Shayla Wulf (12) took advantage of third-party platforms to reflect on her monthly listening habits. This year, websites such as Receiptify and Instafest cultivated creative lists of users’ top artists and songs.

“I do like that they have 3rd-party platforms now that we can use so that people that are Apple Music users or Amazon can also share their data with Spotify users, and we can kind of compare,” Wulf said.

Spotify begins tracking users’ listening habits on Jan. 1 and continues until a few weeks before Wrapped is released. Continuous data tracking has become a concern for some.

“Spotify Wrapped is fun,” Stronz said, “But I’m a little skeptical of all the data tracking, but at this point, we can’t escape it, so I guess we might as well have fun with it.”

While Wrapped is seen as a fun bundle anticipated annually, users believe there are still some improvements that can be made for next year. The inclusion of more statistics is a common complaint.

“My favorite thing about Spotify Wrapped was seeing your stats and how much of a super fan you were for different artists,” Wulf said, “So I think it would be awesome if I could see that for more than just my top artist.”

Overall, Spotify Wrapped has made its impression for yet another year. Millions of people engaged with their summary, and numerous more reposted it to their social media. While Wrapped is a successful marketing campaign for the streaming platform, it also offers music listeners an opportunity to reflect on their year and themselves in a unique way.

“My Wrapped altered my perception of myself because my top genre was rap,” Atterberry said, “And when I think about it…it makes sense, but when I actually see it, I get startled. It’s like looking at myself through someone else’s point of view.”