By Ally Mills
December 1st is quite possibly the most exciting day of the year for avid Spotify listeners such as myself. In 2016, the company created “Spotify Wrapped,” a personalized analysis of the user’s activity on the app over the past year. I look forward to receiving this report to gain perspective on the amount of time I spend listening to music and to discover what music I tend to gravitate to most. Music is such an important part of my life, yet I never seem to be paying full attention to it. It typically plays in the background while I focus my attention elsewhere; because of this, I don’t pay attention to how long or what artist I listen to more than another – I simply listen. So, when Spotify Wrapped is released on December 1st, I feel like I’m uncovering something about myself. Even users that are in tune with their musical side express excitement over their personalized report. As Taylor Swift’s #1 fan (and in her top 0.05% of listeners), Teagan Clark describes receiving “Wrapped” as “a musical experience that is way better than the Grammys.” Even though it’s never a surprise that Tay Tay takes Teagan’s Artist of the Year spot, Spotify Wrapped acknowledges the dedication that users have to their favorite artists, and is a nice way to thank and encourage them to continue listening.
At the same time Spotify releases “Wrapped,” they also drop “Your Top Songs” which is a playlist consisting of a user’s most played songs over the span of 12 months. Listening to this playlist has become a nostalgic experience for me because throughout the year, I associated certain songs with specific experiences or emotions, and at the end of the year, they’re all handed to me in a single playlist. As I listened to my 2021 playlist, I was transported to various points in the year with each new track. My top song of the year, “Electric Feel” by MGMT is one that I played every day this summer as I drove to work at my tennis club. I had all of my windows down, a delicious soy latte in my cup holder, and the scent of beachy Sun Bum sunscreen diffusing throughout the car. As soon as I hear the intro, I’m immediately transported back to this happy, carefree period of the year. The beauty of “Wrapped” is that it’s not only a musical summary of the year, but an emotional one too. While the aesthetics and presentation of Spotify Wrapped are top tier, the memories and feelings it evokes are why users are so obsessed with it.