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Spotify Wrapped 2023

Every year, music listeners eagerly await their Spotify Wrapped, which usually drops in early December (Business Insider). It features statistics about a user’s favorite tracks, artists, and genres, recording data on their listening habits from January 1 to October 31. People enjoy sharing their top songs with their friends and reliving their experiences through music. This successful marketing campaign has become a digital phenomenon since 2016, with Apple hopping on the trend with Replay in 2019 and releasing a similar year-in-review (Apple Newsroom). This year’s Spotify Wrapped offers some interesting insights into the music trends of 2023.

 

This year, one artist stood out among all other artists: Taylor Swift. Receiving nearly 26.1 billion streams, Swifties listened to her discography as they prepared for the Era’s Tour or danced along to her hit songs (Time). Bad Bunny and The Weeknd took the #2 and #3 spots for the most streams. It was also a big year for Miley Cyrus. Her record-breaking song “Flowers” now has more than 1.6 billion streams (Euronews). SZA’s “Kill Bill” and Harry Styles’ “As It Was” were also popular with fans. Due to the popularity of their songs, it is no surprise that Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift, and SZA had the most successful albums of the year. Un Verano Sin Ti, Midnights, and SOS clocked in with over 10 billion total streams (Euronews).

 

Spotify also provides a month-by-month recap of the year through music on Spotify Newsroom. After analyzing user habits, they found that Gen Z is less defined by traditional genres, enjoying a hybrid of sounds or music that does not belong to a clear genre (Spotify Newsroom). They also found that social media microtrends, like the “coastal cowgirl” aesthetic in March, affected the type of music listeners tuned into. Pop culture phenomena, including Disney’s The Little Mermaid, also affected the playlists users listened to (Spotify Newsroom). People were easily influenced by this year’s trends and listened to music that helped them connect with others.

 

Another feature users enjoyed was the addition of a personalized “Sound Town.” When users posted their Spotify Wrapped on their Instagram stories, many noticed they were grouped into the same cities. Burlington, VT, Cambridge, MA, and Berkeley, CA dominated the new AI feature that assigned users based on their demographics and listening preferences (Consequence). Many Boygenius (styled “boygenius”) fans found themselves in Burlington, and Lana Del Rey stans found themselves in Berkeley (Consequence). This new feature was a hit, and users cannot wait to see what Spotify comes up with next year.

 

As cultural trends continue to influence the music we listen to, users can expect their music taste to become more similar to others, no matter how underground their top artists are. This is due to the social aspect of music platforms like Spotify. Since users discover music through playlists others create, emerging artists can gain fame much more rapidly than ever before. A prime example of this trend is Ice Spice, with her record-breaking collaborations with Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj this year (HotNewHipHop). Soon, our playlists may become less personalized as others discover our favorite songs and hop on the bandwagon.



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Jordan Sang
Jordan Sang, Copy Editor
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