Each year on December 1, Spotify releases personal feedback known as “Spotify Wrapped.” They provide each listener with the complete collection of their top songs, artists and genres (or podcasts and audiobooks when applicable) from the previous year.
The tradition started in 2015 with “Year in Review” but didn’t become popular until 2017 when it upgraded to “Spotify Wrapped.” Not much changed between the two versions aside from the design, which had users going crazy with shares and mentions, and ultimately took the campaign viral. Now, users anticipate what their end-of-year wrap will look like.
I had to laugh reading a tweet by Vanity Fair staff writer Delia Cai who said “Spotify [is] the only tech company to figure out how to successfully rebrand ‘we’ve been tracking you’ to ‘isn’t this FUN.'”
Cai’s right, though. Data tracking has been taking place in the tech industry ever since it began. It’s scary to think about how much information media giants Facebook, Disney or Comcast know about me just based on how many properties they own within the industry. However, when I think of Spotify, I’m intrigued by the information they’ve collected rather than fearful, and I couldn’t wait to look at my Spotify Wrapped this year.
Frankly, I don’t know what it was about 2021, but my music taste was all over the place.
This year, my top genres were:
- Contemporary Country
- Dance Pop
- Country Road
- Modern Rock
In all honesty, these didn’t surprise me one bit. Do they go together at all? Maybe not. But they reflect my music taste pretty accurately.
The portion of the recap that really surprised me though were my top artists. They were:
- The Driver Era
- Jake Scott
- Olivia Rodrigo
- Dan + Shay
- Tim McGraw
Again, the majority of these artists make sense based on my normal music taste – except one. Miss Olivia Rodrigo, how did you become a top artist of mine? Don’t get me wrong, I loved the “Sour” album but I don’t think I listened to it that much. So, let’s get to the bottom of this.
I had never listened to Olivia Rodrigo before “Sour” was released, nor had I ever seen HSMTMTS (I swear that girl went through more drama in 2 seasons of that show than I have in my 21 years of life). For a while, I couldn’t even stand “Driver’s License” because it was the only song radio stations and TikTok users would play for the entirety of January.
But once the rest of the album dropped in May, my FOMO reminded me that I had no choice but to listen to the whole thing. And I loved it. Apparently so much so that she ended up on my top artists list. I remember driving to work over the summer listening to the album, but once summer faded, so did my obsession. Clearly, the number of plays over the summer were enough to bring her to the top, though. Honestly, I’m surprised Taylor Swift didn’t make the cut after I listened to “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” a million times last month.
So yes, Olivia did some damage this year, but at least I wasn’t alone. Practically the entire Her Campus community had Olivia in their top artists of the year.
Granted, I don’t think I’ll ever have an accurate Spotify Wrapped. My music habits are so random that it’s almost impossible to find any sort of consistency. As Olivia taught us, I tend to listen to more music in the summers than I do while at school, mainly due to classes and my inability to work with any background noise. When I do listen to music during the semester, I tend to fixate on my favorite songs and play them (or the artist) on repeat since I don’t often listen for more than half an hour at a time, like while I’m getting ready or making dinner. Frankly, I’m not surprised more county artists didn’t make it either. Despite country being my number one genre, I tend to shuffle my 18-hour country playlist over long road trips rather than select one artist to listen to at a time.
With these unpredictable habits, it’s no surprise my Spotify Wrapped is all over the place. At least I can count on one thing, though: no matter how surprised I was by my history this year, next year will bring an even bigger shock.