05 Dec 2020

Some Thoughts About Spotify Wrapped

I didn’t feel the need to share my Spotify 2020 Wrapped with people this year like I had in previous years. People that follow me know that my likely #1 was BTS. Sure enough, my 2020 wrapped confirmed this. What I have always known about this release is that it has been a great marketing tool for Spotify. Users love it and look forward to it. This year, along with visuals and the music, there was even an interactive component where you could predict who your top artist/band was before it was revealed to you.

As consumers, we love yearly recaps. In a year as challenging as 2020, people needed to know what music got them through this difficult time. However, one thing we’re not prepared for is how embarrassing our music choices are. That data, alone, could impact your decision to share. From my 2020 Wrapped, I learned that Justin Bieber came sliding into 3rd place. I’d be lying to you if I said that didn’t slight me even though admittedly, I really loved “Changes.” What did I have to be embarrassed about here? I also listened to 54,568 minutes of music which in comparison to my friends who shared their own Wrapped is higher than theirs. Is that too much time to be listening to music?

While Spotify’s Wrapped is all fun and shareable, what about the artists? An Instagram story from Hollis Wong-Wear (someone we previously interviewed on Yow Yow) showed me another side to consider. Unless you’re a mainstream artist, you’re not making much off every stream. Artists themselves also receive stats. The embarrassment I feel from having Bieber as a third top artist doesn’t compare when you’re an aspiring artist seeing that your own stats don’t measure up to your expectations or peers.

Spotify Wrapped in 2020 showed me two things. You are not defined by the music you listen to. I love using the playlist of my top songs as a guide for the post that I write on Yow Yow! every year, but I don’t rely on it 100%. And lastly, as consumers of music, we need to find a way to bridge this gap. Not everyone can be a mainstream artist, but can we do a better job of showing our support? In challenging times of COVID where shows cannot exist, how can we do more instead of only reaping the benefits of getting music from our favorite artists and musicians?

Posted on December 5, in Music

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