The holiday season kicks off with Spotify Wrapped release

By James Stein Dec 3, 2021
Two IWU students compare their Spotify Wrapped with each other. Photo by Liam Killian
Two IWU students compare their Spotify Wrapped with each other.
Photo by Liam Killian

I have been eternally grateful to be an avid Spotify user, because the app introduced an end of the year recap feature five years ago. Since I have used the app from the beginning, I can fortunately confirm my favorite artist went from One Direction to Harry Styles. Growth is so fun to track. 

Spotify releases general playlists of their most popular music and podcasts listened to on the platform worldwide. In addition, they create a personalized experience for each user whether you use the free or the premium version. 

In 2016, Spotify started this wrapped experience. Since then, Spotify Wrapped has been free marketing for the app. Users post on their social media their top artists or songs and has led to a huge increase in downloads.  According to Moengage, the first week of December in 2020 led to a 21% increase in app downloads. For me, the Spotify Wrapped release is what truly starts the holiday season. 

“My friends were encouraging me to get Spotify last year and I am so grateful for them. Now I have a playlist I can listen to and will not be excluded and I am very happy I got to share my Spotify Wrapped stats on my Instagram story,” Junior Bobbi Davidson said. 

Over the years Spotify Wrapped has advanced. Instead of just a playlist, the app introduced a slideshow that walks you through your year of music. As you tap through your slideshow you can see how many minutes you spent listening and your most listened to song. 

One of the most fun features of Spotify Wrapped is the stats that come along with your top artist. Personally I was in the top 0.5% of Taylor Swift’s listeners. I also learned that I spent a total of 9,933 minutes listening to Miss Swift. Sure– that is 165 hours but let’s not talk about that. 

This year they even introduced a new audio aura feature. This new feature was mimicking aura readings. An aura reading is a colored radiation that surrounds any human, animal or object. Now thanks to Spotify your music taste can now have an aura. With an audio aura they also paired two adjectives to go along with the ‘reading.’

 “I loved the new audio aura. It was so fun to see a color that matches my music and to see my music can be described as ‘wistful’ and ‘energy’. Which feels fitting because all of my top five songs are from Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album, SOUR,” Junior Christina Giorgi said.

In response to the popularity of Spotify Wrapped, competitive platforms have also tried to do a recap of the year. Apple Music offers a less superior version of how Spotify ends the year. Apple Music offers a “Apple Music Replay” which ranks all of your songs for the year. You can also learn about your top artists but many people think the Music Replay and Spotify Wrapped are not comparable. 

Since Spotify Wrapped is not new many users try to think ahead throughout the year. Although many users forget about this end of the year recep so December 1st comes as a surprise. To get all of their users a personalized Spotify Wrapped, the app stops collecting data on October 31st. 

While music is the main point of Spotify Wrapped they also highlight podcasts. Your top five podcasts are shown and you can post a ‘thank you’ on social media to your favorite podcast hosts. First-year Marissa Hagler has her own podcast called “Hurding Through Hard Times” and it was featured on some people’s Spotify Wrapped this year. 

“My goal this year was to just start a podcast for mental health for myself to reflect but I never thought that people would actually be as invested as they are. It makes me so happy I started crying when people told me I was their top podcast or in their top three,” Hagler said. 

One major benefit of this end of the year recap is the ability to connect with people. What you are listening to usually stays between your headphones and you. Now that everyone shares their Spotify Wrapped stats you can connect with friends or acquaintances you never thought you would. 

This year a few of the people I follow on social media posted their Spotify Wrapped and I felt inspired to spark up a conversation because of our similar interests. It is exciting to see people like the same artists you do. 

Even celebrities partake in sharing their favorites of the year. Music artist Hozier, social media star Lil Huddy and many more celebs shared their top tracks and artists. I could have gone my whole life without knowing Hozier and I are both huge fans of Doja Cat but now I don’t have to. 

Now is the time: get Spotify. There is plenty of time to get a head start on your 2022 Spotify Wrapped.

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