By Ethan Chun
In December 2016, Spotify released the first official Spotify Wrapped, a feature that allowed users to view their listening activity from the past year. In the years following, Spotify Wrapped has grown into one of the most popular aspects of the service, becoming a cultural phenomenon among many users.
When Spotify Wrapped finally dropped this year on November 30, many fans felt it initiated the year’s end. Spotify tracks subscribers' listening activity from January 1 to October 31 every year, allowing for the anticipation to build during the whole month of November.
“I love it, it’s like Spotify’s Christmas gift to us,” senior Julie Joseph said.
Spotify Wrapped can help an individual see how their music taste has changed since the year before. It helps users reminisce on different listening phases, or when they might have repeatedly listened to a certain song, genre or artist. Spotify Wrapped displays listening history with its “story” design, allowing many individuals to reflect on multiple aspects of their activity.
Some students at NHP shared their reactions to receiving their Spotify Wrapped.
“I was satisfied with my Spotify Wrapped because it truly highlighted the ups and downs of the emotions I experienced this year, including the grief, happiness, serenity and just all of the love I got to express with music. I like how fandoms were able to feel like a piece of the artist’s life with the percentages of the listening time and whatnot; it’s a great way to connect as a fan of music,” senior Sara Gustafson said.
“I was a little surprised. I thought my top artist was going to be a certain person, but I guess not. But other than that, I wasn’t much surprised about my Spotify Wrapped this year,” sophomore Esther Panicker said.
Since the feature has been around for some time, much of the surrounding anticipation has gotten people to sign up for the service. The Spotify Wrapped hashtag on TikTok has 48.8 billion views, and its popularity just continues to grow. The attention that Spotify Wrapped has received has not gone unnoticed by Spotify’s competitors. This year, companies like Apple Music, YouTube and Pandora have issued their own take on Spotify Wrapped.
“Although I’m an Apple Music user, I don’t wish I had Spotify because I feel like I’ve used it [Apple Music] for so long that it would be more work to change all my playlists and everything over to Spotify, even if it means I can’t participate in Spotify Wrapped,” senior Melinda Matthew said.
However, Spotify Wrapped is ever-changing, adding new features every year. This year was no different; a new feature allowed artists to leave a message to their fans. If an artist made it to a user’s top ten artists of the year, the user could receive a video message from the artist as a thank you. Artists like Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Måneskin, Blackpink, Mitski, Katy Perry, Little Mix, J Balvin and Doja Cat all left video messages to their fans to thank them for listening to their music.
“I found this year’s Spotify Wrapped more visually appealing than last year’s. I liked how artists were able to connect with their fans and thank them with the artist's message. Overall, it was a satisfying experience for me since I was able to look back at the whole year based off of the music I listened to,” senior Sakshi Raj said.
Source by Julia Esposito
Students are eager to listen to their favorite hits of the year in Spotify's individualized playlist, "Your Top Songs 2022."
As the year “wraps” up, only time will tell what the next year will bring for music listeners across all platforms.