Spotify Wrapped: Fall’s greatest music event

By Anna Calkins, Editor of Arts and Entertainment

The music streaming platform known for its user experience has released its annual breakdown of listening statistics and data.

The first screen of the Wrapped sequence

One of the greatest music events of the year has finally returned: Spotify Wrapped. Classrooms have been abuzz with comparisons and reactions to surprising top songs and shared favorite artists. Apple Music has also released its Replay, but the recap has tended to get less attention. This discrepancy may be thanks to the cheekiness and witticisms written into the Wrapped, as well as the variety of information provided by the summary.

This year, the Wrapped includes a count of the total number of genres explored, as well as every user’s top five genres. As with last year’s wrapped, some listeners found genres they’d never heard of. Personally, I learned that I listen to a lot of ‘goblincore’ music in the morning. I am not sure what that means or if it’s true, but it was entertaining to see! Some listeners felt their genre list wasn’t very accurate. Mr. Vinluan, for example, mentioned that his top genres did not include 2000s pop/punk, emo, or pop, all genres which he thought he had listened to a lot throughout the year.

The reports surprised people in different ways. Sophomore Jasmine Zhang explained that “Katy Perry was high on my list, but I don’t listen much to Katy Perry. Maybe her songs are longer.” Mr. Williams, who overall “wasn’t really surprised,” still didn’t expect to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers as his second artist. He also said he was “shocked not to see any My Morning Jacket on there.” For another senior, the total minutes – over 90,000 – were a surprise. Zhang had a total of 85,000 minutes, which she credited to the podcasts she listens to. 

Nathan Deloach, a junior who uses Apple Music, had compared the two platforms’ annual recaps. “I feel like Spotify is definitely more detailed, because they also compare you with other people. But they also don’t go into Top 10 or Top Albums,” he said of the two summaries. Senior Kelsey Bentrem wished her Replay told her more about her listening habits, like Spotify’s breakdown of each user’s preferred genres throughout the day. This year’s Replay, though, was a big change from past replays. It’s the first year Apple Music has included this many statistics and new information from previous years. In the past, it has only involved the creation of a custom playlist made up of users’ favorite songs of the year.

Some of the most popular artists this year among peoples’ rankings have been Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, and Harry Styles. All three of these artists released new albums this year that received high praise and lots of attention. You can read the PawPrint’s review of Harry Styles’ album on our website! Also seen on many social media postings of the one-page summaries were Kanye West and Rex Orange County, two artists who have had highly-public controversies this year. Rex Orange County released a new album in March, and West released a single in July. Their names were frequently crossed out by the individuals whose lists they starred on to indicate disapproval. 

As always, the Spotify Wrapped has already become a new meme and advertisement format. Listeners are comparing statistics, and Apple Music users are finally joining in on the fun. The release of the summary is a great conversation starter and encourages the sharing of recommendations and opinions. Whether your Wrapped shocked you or was as expected, there is something in the annual recaps for everyone to enjoy.

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