Spotify and their Creation, Spotify Wrapped

Rafaelle Martis

Spotify, a free streaming service, has set a trend across many different streaming platforms by creating a program called Spotify Wrapped. In this program, users can review what their most-listened-to artists, songs, and albums of the year were. The first adaptation of Spotify Wrapped was created in 2015 when Spotify created a “Year in Music Playlist,” which was the user’s most-listened-to songs composed into a playlist that the user is able to listen to. Then, in 2019, a design intern at Spotify, Jewel Ham, created the concept and storytelling of Spotify wrapped. Spotify Wrapped creates a specialized, individual experience for the user. The program displays the user’s music taste from a data-based perspective.

Spotify compiled data from each of their users’ accounts, which includes their top five artists, songs, genres, and albums. However, there are no separate templates made for each Spotify user. Spotify assembles these templates throughout the year and then inserts the user’s data into them. In order for the data collected to be used towards Spotify Wrapped, the user would have to listen to a song for at least thirty seconds. Spotify only collects data from January 1st to November 27th. After the 27th, whatever music you listen to will not be counted towards Spotify Wrapped. However, the planning for these templates takes around six months. This is for the creators to create versions of the Spotify templates in about seventy different languages.

The benefit that Spotify Wrapped offers is that this program has made the Spotify experience more enjoyable for its users. Spotify Wrap has been a highly anticipated event throughout the year. Spotify was able to create something that displayed who a person is and give them the ability to share it with peers. “Spotify has done an amazing job of marketing surveillance as fun and getting people to not only participate in their own surveillance but celebrate it and share it and brag about it to the world.” Evan Greer, the director of Fight for Our Future, expresses this to Wired. Marketing surveillance is making sure someone’s data is safe and cannot be used for illegal activity. Spotify Wrapped attempts to contain every user’s music taste and personality into a three- to four-minute presentation.
During the rise of Spotify Wrapped, many other music streaming platforms created their own versions of a yearly wrap. Apple Music, Spotify’s main competitor, has created an edition of Spotify Wrapped called Apple Music Replay, and Youtube Music has also just released their year-round wrap. Spotify Wrapped is a clear example of how Spotify is able to set trends that impact multiple platforms.

Spotify stepped up its game this year with the acquisition of Spotify Wrapped. They added this new feature where the user’s top artists would get video messages from said artists. Spotify also took users’ suggestions and showed the listeners what moods they listened to throughout the day, such as “Hopeless Romantic in the Afternoon.” However, people did not find the results that they got from their wrapped to be embarrassing or inaccurate. Users did not find any problems with Spotify itself, but rather with the data and their most-listened-to songs. This is because the collection period for the wrapped is only through November.