It’s February, and I’m Already Planning for Spotify Wrapped

It all started in 2017. My brother and I split the cost of a Spotify premium subscription, sharing the same account to save the $5 a month. It worked out relatively well—we had to get off the app when the other wanted to listen, but overall, we had different schedules and didn’t face much overlap. That was until December, when we received our very first Spotify Wrapped playlist.

The Spotify Wrapped playlist, released at the end of every year, is a culmination of each user’s top 100 most-listened-to songs, presented in a slideshow-style format by the website, with different fun facts—from top style to top artist—created by the company. Spotify then encourages everyone to share their data on their Instagram stories, creating a two-day long social media bragging competition for who listened to the most obscure artists or who was the biggest Taylor Swift fan or who listened for the largest number of minutes.

Woman looks at a photo on Instagram on her phone. Photo by Kate Torline from Unsplash To my dismay, when I received our Spotify Wrapped 2018, the data was all skewed, with the top songs all bands I had never heard of that my brother had listened to as he slept.

I was so upset I couldn’t share the cute graphics like everyone else (a feeling shared by a surprising number of people, according to this Refinery 29 article), and so from that moment on I dedicated myself to creating the perfect Spotify Wrapped for each year to come.

I did my research and found that Spotify doesn’t collect data after October 31st (a decision I’ve decided Spotify made to keep my most-listened-to song from being “Oh Santa! All I Want for Christmas Is You - Holiday Mashup” by Mariah Carey). Spotify also will count anything more than 30 seconds as a “listen” (meaning I could listen to the first 29 seconds of a song and skip without messing up any numbers).

Armed with this research, the last three years, I’ve been able to control my top song (through repeating the first thirty seconds over and over), and I’ve been successful at keeping “Into the Unknown” out of my top five most-listened-to songs (although it was #7 last year). Other than that, I’ve tried to make my Spotify Wrapped playlist something authentic that I’m proud to share when December rolls around.

phone with picture of taylor swift's red on the screen Photo by Omid Armin from Unsplash In recent years, there have been a lot of websites created (Receiptify, which makes a receipt-style summary of your most-listened-to songs in the last month, six months, and all time periods, was based on a BU student’s viral Instagram account), but none of them compare to the excitement of opening Spotify Wrapped in early December. It's like an early Christmas present where you know what you asked Santa for (after all, Spotify Wrapped is based entirely on your data), but you aren’t entirely sure what it will look like.

So, this is your friendly reminder to listen to songs that you truly love so that you have a cute Spotify Wrapped December 2021.

You’re welcome.

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