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What Does Your Spotify Wrapped Say About You?

Music is magic. It’s one of those things that speaks to all of us almost universally. Sure, our taste in music might differ from one another. Some of us are punk-rockers through-and-through, while others are rap-fanatics, and of course there are classical-junkies and jazz-lovers, too. No matter what style, genre, or artist is your favorite though, the fact of the matter remains; music is a universal thing. However, the way we consume music has drastically shifted over the last several years, and especially in the wake of the early 2000’s. It was 1999 when Napster launched and first laid the groundwork for future music-streaming platforms, and is still heralded as a heroic effort by most music-lovers as it granted users access to millions and millions of tracks for free. Fast forward another 20 years or so, and you land in today’s day and age supersaturated with music streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Music, Tidal, Qobuz, Soundcloud, and the list goes on.

That being said, though, the music we choose to listen to, and how we choose to listen to it, still says at least a little something about ourselves. The Spotify Wrapped playlist is an annual feature on Spotify that presents mobile users a playlist of specially curated songs that the user specifically gravitated toward throughout the course of the last 12 months. So, what exactly can we learn about ourselves from our Spotify Wrapped?

A Reflection on the Previous Year

Firstly, Spotify Wrapped is self-identified as a reflection on a listener’s previous year in music. This means that the songs selected for the playlist will be based on that user’s specific listening history, the albums, artists, and songs they played most often, and the various genres that they gravitated to regularly.

This can actually be quite telling for a lot of people. Oftentimes we tend to listen to music that is either in direct alignment or direct contrast with our internal emotional landscape. For example, when feeling angry, the majority of listeners choose to either listen to heavy-metal and other similar sounding-genres, or they’ll choose calming, happy, and relaxing music that helps them process and release their anger.

Seeing the variety of genres, and artists that populate your Spotify Wrapped may bring you back to specific moments throughout your past year. Whether they were happy moments, sad moments, or anything in between.

Your Favorite Hits, Artists, and Albums

Many of us have known who our favorite artists are for a long time, and that won’t ever change. This can leave people playing the same album, and sometimes just the same song, on repeat over and over again. This type of listening pattern will certainly be reflected in a Spotify Wrapped playlist, and may simply suggest a variety of artists and songs that are similar to the ones you already listen to on repeat.

There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you like. Though this is an important note for new artists to make who are currently figuring out how to upload music to Spotify, since it can be hard to win over a fanbase of loyal-listeners.

The Role of the Algorithm

Finally, we get to the true beast of the music-streaming platform; the algorithm. Algorithms are used in plenty of modern day technologies. From TV and film streaming services like Netflix to e-commerce giants like Amazon, and of course social media platforms as well. These algorithms are all designed to function in specific ways, and the ones that Spotify deploys are aimed at tracking and understanding a user’s listening habits. From there, the algorithm presents users with song and artist suggestions based on the data collected.

At the end of the day, this is what’s truly powering and populating your Spotify Wrapped playlist. So if you feel like the algorithm missed the mark, don’t take it personally; technology is, afterall, by no means perfect.

Only one Piece of the Online Footprint

Building off the point of the algorithm above, is that your Spotify Wrapped playlist is really only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to building your online footprint. Your actions and interactions on social media, where and how you consume your content, and your search-query-history all make up a fragment of who you are both in reality, and online.

Keeping this in mind, if you have a Spotify account, but you tend to listen to music on Apple Music or Amazon Music, then your Spotify Wrapped won’t have sufficient enough data to build a playlist that actually feels like you.

Wrapping up on Spotify Wrapped

The music we listen to undoubtedly says something about us. Getting a retrospective soundtrack to our year based on listening habits as understood by an algorithm is certainly not an end-all-be-all testament of your personality or identity. However, it can help you reflect on your year past, help you find new music and new artists in which you might be interested, and can certainly be just a bit of a sentimental journey.