Spotify Wrapped Turns Music Streaming Into Annual Cultural Highlight – Scot Scoop News

Music streaming is a highly personal experience, but Spotify has found a way to turn it into a viral phenomenon.

Spotify is packed started as a marketing campaign, but has become a long-awaited annual highlight for music enthusiasts. It functions as a virtual time capsule and year-end recap, celebrating artists’ successes, fan engagement and dedication to the Spotify platform in a sensational and personalized way.

“My favorite feature of Wrapped is that it shows what percentage of the top listeners you are for a particular artist. In 2020, I was somehow in the top 0.05% of Taylor Swift listeners, which I thought was pretty cool,” said Carlmont senior Evan Wang.

Someone’s personality and character also goes a long way in their musical taste, so Spotify Wrapped can help you share aspects of yourself with friends.

— Dhatri Venela

These personalized data packages can also be shared on social media as graphics or links on Instagram, allowing music listeners to compare themselves with friends and connect with others who have similar musical tastes.

“Someone’s individuality and character also goes a long way in their musical taste, so Spotify Wrapped can help share aspects of yourself with friends,” said Dhatri Venela, a sophomore at Carlmont.

In 2020, a study conducted by Spotify found that music preferences can reflect basic personality traits as well or even better than big data personality surveys. Music is closely related to one’s emotions, personality and mood, so seeing others’ Spotify Wrapped often reveals a lot about them as a person.

However, this also means that some users may feel the need to customize their music profiles to be perceived a certain way. For people who care a lot about what songs or artists end up on their Wrapped, streaming can be about more than just enjoying music.

“I know this one guy who wanted to show how much he liked Kanye, so he played this 10-second skit on an album, even when he was sleeping, to increase his number of performances,” Wang said.

In addition to adding a community dimension to an otherwise private music listening experience, Wrapped serves as a fun and interactive measure of listening habits, personality and growth.

Created on Canva by Alice Lan.

This year’s edition, which was released on November 30, features “Me in 2023,” which characterizes users in personal maps based on their streaming habits, and “Sound city” that connects each user to a city around the world based on their listening affinity and artist.

Although carefully analyzed based on user data, these aggregate summaries and categorizations may not be the most accurate due to changes in musical preferences over the years.

“I didn’t like the fact that I was getting the most played song at the beginning of the year because my favorite songs change throughout the year,” Venella said. “Something I want to see in the future is how my genres and songs change over time, like ‘Most Contrasting Genres’ or something like that.”

Wrapped is an event for both the music artists and the listeners. Through Artist packedmusicians also have access to personalized summaries that show when, where and how fans have engaged with their music on Spotify over the past year.

“It’s nice to see the growth of my career expanded into a visual form. My Wrapped this year was a good indicator that I’m constantly pushing past my old limits and still growing as an artist,” said Alibialternative R&B and pop artist from the Bay Area.

Pullquote Photo

It’s nice to see my career growth expanded in visual form. My Wrapped this year was a good indicator that I’m constantly pushing past my old limits and still growing as an artist.


However, there are also cons. Wrapped can create a stressful environment for artists who focus too much on performance statistics.

“I find Artist Wrapped and being obsessed with statistics in general is a pretty damaging mentality because artists will start to value their self-worth based on external factors instead of their own artistry,” Aleebi said. “Personally, I couldn’t care less if my Wrapped shows that I’ve grown or fallen because, as I always tell my peers, my work remains the same. I make music for myself and I will continue to do so whether my music does well or not.”

Ultimately, Wrapped is about sharing music.

“I mainly post Wrapped to show appreciation to my fans and followers who have been with me since day one. It’s more like, “Hey, thanks for sticking with me. You are a part of my journey and growth as an artist and here is the proof,” Alebi said.

Wrapped’s popularity has grown significantly over the years: in 2017, there were 30 million users engaged with it, and by 2022, the number has grown to more than 156 million, according to a spokesperson for TIME. The hashtag #SpotifyWrapped is constantly evolving in the X platform and boasts over 68 billion views TikTok.

The success of this approach has spurred competing streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Tidal to adopt the Marketing Tactic of the Year in Review, showcasing Spotify Wrapped’s innovation in creating a new form of user engagement based on personalized data.

Spotify has successfully turned listening to music into a shared cultural experience. Beyond raw data and algorithms, Wrapped is a unifying moment that celebrates a community united by a love of music.

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