Trendsetters: Spotify Wrapped

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

By Milan Charles

Thursday, 10th of December 2020

If you’ve spent any time on social media in the last week, then you’ve surely seen everyone sharing their ‘Spotify 2020 Wrapped’ data. People have been bragging and boasting about their elite taste in music, and the top artists they listened to in what feels like the never-ending purgatory that has been this year.

If you’re not familiar with Spotify Wrapped – though it’s hard to imagine anyone has managed to escape the flood of their friends’ Top Songs of 2020 list – Wrapped is an annual report provided by Spotify to its listeners that shows their “most memorable listening moments of the year”. Spotify users are presented with everything from their top artists, songs and genres to how many new artists they discovered throughout the last 365 days.

During the glorified PowerPoint presentation, we’re encouraged to ‘share this to story’ to all of our followers who just can’t live without seeing what our Top 5 most listened to genres were. At the end of each users’ Wrapped, Spotify tells us to “Read it. Share it. Wear it like a badge of honour”. Needless to say, we haven’t been able to  resist posting our tailored graphics and playlists to our Instagram stories and Twitter accounts. This has, of course, provided a huge corporation with free advertising and allowed everybody to show how cool (or famously uncool) they are. It’s been a rough year – we’re all guilty of jumping on these trends. 

This years’ Spotify Wrapped is the most feature-loaded edition yet, demonstrating just how much the original concept has evolved since its inception as ‘A Year in Music in 2015. Initially, Spotify’s ‘Year in Music’ listed the biggest songs of the year and users’ top 100 songs. The name was changed to Wrapped in 2016, but the format more or less stayed the same. It wasn’t until 2017 that Wrapped as we know it came into play, with personalised stats and more interactivity.  

The social media world has seen a massive rise in the influence of podcasters over the past year or so. Spotify cleverly tapped into this too, paying special attention to podcasts this year – this is unsurprising considering the moves and investments Spotify is making in that area. Wrapped reports told users how many minutes they spent listening to podcasts in 2020 and which podcast they binged on the most.

So yes, we all listened to a lot of Meg Thee Stallion and binged Desert Island Discs. And perhaps, like me, you secretly feel super cool to be one of millions of people unknowingly doing free marketing for Spotify, a company valued at around $46 billion.