Wrapping up your listening habits: the appeal of Spotify Wrapped | Arts and lifestyle

The end of the year has finally arrived, and while some may count down the days until the end of the semester, Christmas or New Years, a long-awaited event for many has finally arrived. Spotify Wrapped released on December 1 with great fanfare, but what exactly is the draw of the year– well almostto conclude on the music streaming service?

Whether you’re a cynical opponent of Spotify Wrapped, or anxiously counting the days until its release and trying to fit your listening history perfectly so you have the least embarrassing summary among your group of friends. , there is a bit of a thrill to see the messages saying “Spotify Wrapped is coming” and “Your 2021 Wrapped is here. Spotify itself said it best: This year has been far from normal, and it can be fun to see how this year has reflected in our listening habits.

For example, this yearat least what Spotify counts, from January 1 to October 31-I spent much of the year balancing my studies, work and personal life, and I have often used music as many doa way to relax. My top performers reflect this, with Taylor Swift, Hozier, Olivia Rodrigo, and Dodie all making the top five.

Much of the appeal of Spotify Wrapped and its marketability on social media comes from a sense of individuality. I was in the top 1% of Taylor Swift listeners, while my friend was in the top 0.1% of Billie Eilish listeners. Although it is still a large part of the listeners-about 6 million and 500,000 monthly listeners respectivelybeing able to show off such a small number on social media can create a feeling of superiority. As Anastasia Kārkliņa Gabriel writes for Medium:

“Our cultural obsession with personality is undeniable, and the psychosocial message we receive about individualism as a measure of personal worth is so pervasive and engulfing that the line between our consumption and self-conception becomes decidedly blurry. “(1)

Individualism aside, most people know that apps are constantly logging personal data. Between the specialty ads on Facebook and Instagram, or the recommended Netflix and Youtube streams designed to entertain the common viewer for hours on end, companies have been logging their users’ data since inception. The reason why Spotify Wrapped is so appealing to a casual user is its ability to showcase the daily life of users. As Rachel Metz said for CNN Business:

“But the data Spotify compiles on your music listening habits is quite personal, because what we listen to says a lot about our lives and our moods, or at least the moods of our music. (Spotify cheekily categorizes this kind of something like an “audio aura.”) “(2).

With the new Spotify Blend update that followed shortly after Spotify Wrapped, that personality extends to friendships. Featuring another story style summary similar to Spotify Wrapped, Spotify Blend showcases the similarity between the listening habits of two users and creates a personalized playlist for both users. In an age when creating carefully crafted playlists is a sign of love and connection for many younger generations, much like a CD or a mixtape from our parents or grandparents, there is no doubt that playlists personalized reading based on listening habits would be a success.

However, Spotify’s listening data is available year round. Spotify offers a miniature version of Wrapped that shows users their top songs and artists for the month on the desktop version of Spotify, and third-party websites can show users long-term stats. What is stopping people from posting their statistics all year round?

There is definitely magic in waiting until the end of the year to see listening history in a convenient format. As cheesy and weird as some of the slides from Spotify Wrappedlike offline Gen Z slang, misused language, and games like “Two Truths and a Lie” instead of going straight into the datathe slides add a bit of fun compared to just reading the data as it is.

Whether you get your music from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, or some other listening method, everyone’s tastes are unique and specialized. If we need summaries at the end of the year like Spotify Wrapped to tell us that, then I’m sure Spotify Wrapped will continue for years to come. For now, let the mystery and individuality continue.

(1) https://anastasiaxgabriel.medium.com/more-than-music-taste-spotifywrapped-appeals-to-our-obsession-with-individualism-46616f170594

(2) https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/02/tech/spotify-wrapped-data/index.html

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