The past few days, my social media feed has been inundated with posts of people’s 2020 “Spotify Wrapped.” For those unfamiliar with them, Spotify Wrapped recaps offer data on the songs and podcasts that users listened to throughout the past year, including their most-played songs, top genres, and more. Users can see how many minutes they spent listening to content, how many new artists they discovered, and how they ranked compared to other Spotify users. For example, Spotify’s recaps may let an individual know that they were in the “top 5%” or “top .5%” of listeners of a specific artist or band over the past year. Overall, Spotify’s 2020 Wrapped aims to let users “see how they listened in 2020,” share their music habits with friends, and review the art that helped them get through the past whirlwind of a year.
I admit that seeing everyone else’s sparked interest in my own Spotify Wrapped. While I didn’t share my results on social media, I’ll provide some of them as examples of this year’s features. Some results were expected, like my top genres. Spotify also included information about top songs. For me, my top song was “Heart of Stone” from Six (a musical that I happened to write a blog post about). This song can be attributed to themes of steadfastness, endurance, and patience, which were important to me during 2020. Indeed, Spotify lists user’s top song as the “one song that helped you get through it all.” Additional information on the top song includes when they first started listening to it and its total streams, which is new to 2020’s Spotify Wrapped.
The 2020 version includes a slew of new features, including personalized playlists, quizzes, and options for customized social sharing. This year, Spotify Premium users can also earn badges. I earned a “pioneer” badge, for example, for listening to a song before it hit 50,000 streams. I began paying for Spotify premium once I entered college, as my Spotify usage increased with all the hours spent studying and streaming music. I normally don’t pay for these kinds of services, but I was enticed by the student discount and the convenience of all kinds of ad-free albums, playlists, and more available at my fingertips. The time spent listening to music has only increased throughout this past year, and it is interesting to see the data in a condensed, colorful format.
Inside the Spotify app, you can find your personalized recap for 2020 by scrolling down to “2020 Wrapped” and tapping “see how you listened in 2020.” While it can be monotonous clicking through Instagram stories to see the same content over and over, it’s interesting to see what type of music others enjoy. Additionally, it can be an opportunity to check out new genres, artists, and more based on your friends’ selection. Besides looking at the pre-configured Spotify Wrapped, you can also visit friends’ profiles and see a combination of public playlists and the artists they follow.
While this post may seem like a Spotify advertisement, the popularity of Spotify and its “2020 Wrapped” goes to show how important music is to many. Spotify’s emphasis on the chaos of 2020 is a bit cheesy, but it holds some truth in how music has helped many get through the past year. While we may not be able to attend concerts and other performances, technology and increasing online accessibility allow us to still enjoy and appreciate our favorite songs and artists. Recapping our listening habits encourages us to reminisce about the art that has helped us cope with the loneliness of quarantine and craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic.