Spotify Wrapped came out at the beginning of the month to ring in the start of the year’s end. PHOTO CREDIT: creativebloq.com
Spotify Wrapped was released on Dec. 1 to the excitement of many devoted Spotify users like myself who wait all year to find out just how they listened.
Launched in 2016, Spotify Wrapped has become increasingly popular among listeners, and every year, Spotify attempts to step up its game with new engaging graphics and features. Users receive a curated playlist of their top-100 songs and a series of stories, which reveal in-depth statistics via graphics, such as how many listening minutes were logged, top artists, top genres and more.
This year, I logged 32,121 listening minutes and Doja Cat took my top artist spot with “Good Days” by SZA being my most-played song.
Sophomore Emma Rousseau believes that Spotify Wrapped is so popular because people want to see how the music they listen to has changed over time.
“I know when I look at my Spotify Wrapped, I, like, forget about songs that I listened to months ago and they’re like my number one song,” Rousseau said. “So I just think it’s interesting how, like, our music tastes have changed so much, like artists I listened to months ago are not the same artists I listened to right, like, into now.”
Like Rousseau, junior Nathan Debarros, whose top artist was J. Cole, said he listens to so much music that he wants to know what he’s been listening to the most and what surprises him.
“I just really enjoy figuring out, like, other genres I listened to that might not have known I listen to the most,” Debarros said.
Junior Gavin Schneider, whose top song was “6 Kiss” by Trippie Redd and top artist was Metallica, said he looked forward to checking his Spotify Wrapped because it allows him to recall memories he’s made during the year through the music.
Senior Sam Silverman, whose top artist was Pop Smoke and top song was “Lighter (with Tarrus Riley & Rvssian)” by Shenseea, also looks forward to her Wrapped for more than just the stats.
“I can look back and think about how music has helped me cope with certain things or like what moods I was in and what genres I’m leaning towards now, stuff like that,” Silverman said.
The Spotify Wrapped stories also provide the option to share your stats on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, which I promptly did myself. “To share or not to share” has been a yearly subject of debate (though I think it’s mostly from jealous non-Spotify users in my opinion).
Rousseau personally didn’t post her Wrapped, but not because she thought nobody cared or it was self-absorbed, but because she was somewhat embarrassed by the results.
“My top music genre was emo and my aura was angst,” Rousseau said. “[As for] my top five songs, like four of them were by the same artist. So it’s kind of boring.”
Schneider and Debarros also chose not to post, but are in support of those who do.
“If you feel comfortable enough sharing your music taste or you think that you have a unique taste in music that you’d like to share with others, I’m all for it,” Debarros said.
While Silverman posted her stats immediately, she doesn’t think she would have posted it now, as she has since learned about the history behind the Spotify Wrapped features.
Artist Jewel Ham claims to have created the interactive user experience we know and love today for a final project during a design internship with Spotify, transforming Wrapped in 2019 from an email with a playlist to a yearly event. She has not received any credit for this concept, which she revealed on Twitter last year.
“I think it’s especially heartbreaking that a woman of color had gotten no credit for this because that seems to be more excusable I think, especially on the corporate level where white men take credit for other people’s ideas,” Silverman said. “I don’t want to support any corporation that will steal ideas and, like, not really care about that.”
While the history behind Spotify Wrapped is certainly controversial, Ham’s work has certainly elevated the marketing campaign to another level and made Spotify Wrapped release day one I look forward to every year.