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Spotify Wrapped: a feature in review


Illustration by Finley Hogan-Underdahl


Since 2016, the popular music streaming service Spotify has provided its users with yearly wrap-ups of their music listening around the first day of December. Top artists, tracks, genres, and more fun details are made available to all Spotify users in an aesthetically pleasing format that’s perfect to share to your Instagram story. And, as a total music nerd, “Spotify Wrapped Day” is inevitably my favorite event of the holiday season. I love seeing all of my friends post their unique listening statistics, and having a perfect excuse to share my own.


Generally, Spotify Wrapped provides users with similar statistics every year, but changes up how it presents them. 2023’s Wrapped displayed your most-listened genres as different layers of a sandwich, while they were shown as planets in a solar system the year prior. They’ve recently added some more experimental features, like assigning you a unique musical personality type or a city based on your listening habits. With its combination of consistency and newness, Wrapped always provides the perfect balance of known and unknown statistics to look forward to.


Although I am always happy when my all-time favorite band is at the top of my Spotify Wrapped, I’ve never let that impact my listening habits. However, this is not the case for everyone. Every year, I see people bragging about how they’re supposedly in the top 0.001% of Taylor Swift’s listeners because they had her music on loop when they fell asleep. This is something I’ve never understood, as I feel like manipulating your stats like this takes away the freedom and relaxation that listening to music should provide. But if doing this makes you happy, go for it! I may not understand the fun some people find in treating their streaming stats like a competition, but I certainly find it interesting how things like Spotify Wrapped have affected how people consciously listen to music.


All in all, Spotify Wrapped is a perfect little summary of your yearly music-listening. From what I know, other wrap-ups from services like Apple and YouTube Music are quite similar, too. It’s a great way to keep the app’s users engaged, and give them something to look forward to every year!


Annie McMullen is from St. Paul, Minn. 

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