REVIEW: Spotify Wrapped

Lear Eicher, Copy

Spotify’s “Wrapped” feature collects the user’s music streaming data for a year and, when the year is up, compiles it all into an attractive display of the user’s top-streamed songs, albums, and artists. It garners the attention of many Instagram stories annually–but is the feature really as exciting as people make it out to be?

Some use “Spotify Wrapped” as a selling point for the app itself, arguing for its quality as a year-end event compared to its competitor, Apple Music. And, to be fair, it is certainly more enjoyable than the clinical list most third-party services spit out. The feature certainly has flaws, though.

One possibly conspiratorial but no less puzzling observation I had is how myself and everyone I have talked to ended up in the top one or two percent of listeners of their respective top artists. I am no statistics whiz, but I find it unlikely that myself and, from what I’ve seen, dozens of others ended up in the top one or two percent of Kanye West listeners in the world.

Although most are aware of how poorly Spotify pays their artists, I am only recently aware of how poorly they must pay their graphic design team. Some graphics looked like they were designed by a college freshman in an Intro to Programming class–a pretty unfortunate look for a company the size of Spotify.

All of this withstanding, I do find myself looking forward to the feature every year. There is an element of fun, even for someone as cynical as myself about streaming services and their place in the music industry. I am also guilty of streaming certain songs or artists more on purpose in hopes of getting them to the top of my year-end list so I can have an appealing list to post on my social media for attention. I pine for validation just as much as the next guy. Thus, Spotify Wrapped comes in at 3.5 anchors.