Spotify Wrapped: users alarmed by their own listening habits

Streaming service gave subscribers a look back at their entire decade of music consumption

Spotify’s annual Wrapped feature, which reveals users’ favourite music from the past year, has been released to its 243 million users, prompting mixed emotions among subscribers.

The feature has become an anticipated event for regular users as it shows their most played songs, top artists, favourite genres and minutes listened for the year. But as 2019 comes to an end the world’s biggest music streaming service took advantage of its 10-year tenure and allowed users to look back at their entire decade of streaming habits.

Emotions were high after the floodgates opened. Some were in shock at their own tastes while others were quick to mock those publicising their results.

Unexpected results from shared accounts, songs from breakup playlists and plainly bad music choices were all exposed to the torment of users.

imagine meeting someone at the start of the year, going on a date, falling in love, introducing them to your family and spending all your time together just for Spotify wrapped to come out in December and their artist of the year is lil xan

— Beans After Dark (@goodbeanalt) December 5, 2019

my spotify wrapped

— mary goore (@dunwaIl) December 5, 2019

Many who used other streaming services, like Apple Music and Youtube, naturally felt a bit left out. Apple Music only offers a short summary of the year, which is not social media friendly, while Spotify’s detailed report has readymade cards for sharing across social platforms like Instagram.

apple music users logging into twitter and seeing everyone posting their 2019 spotify wrapped results

— meagan (@freckIedmess) December 5, 2019

There were also surprising results for people who stream meditation and sleep music. These tracks were not excluded from the results.

Spotify wrapped isn’t as fun when you listen to the same sleep tracks every night for 365 days

— frog in bronzer (@sexyasthmatic) December 5, 2019

Others also took aim at Spotify’s classifications, which proposed questionable music genre labels like “pop rap”, and “meme rap”.

the hell is up with the spotify wrapped genres

— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) December 6, 2019

Starting a support group for everyone who got “pop rap” as their top genre on Spotify rewind

— Kade (@_SHEAMUS_) December 5, 2019

Spotify has invested heavily in podcasting this year, spending $340m to acquire podcast networks Gimlet and Anchor in February.

The popularity of Spotify Wrapped shows that some people not only accept their data being used and stored but embrace their intimate listening habits being put on public display.


Hannah Izzard

The GuardianTramp

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