Spotify Wrapped of The Roar: Round 2


After interviewing staff writers and photographers of The Roar about their Spotify Wrapped last year, the annual tradition at the Roar is back. This time, however, the answers are filled with juicier details from new members, shocking revelations from past members, and involves a new marketing ploy schemed by Spotify this year. 

Spotify Wrapped came a little earlier this year, but the early release did not prevent its subscribers from immediately checking the new update. This year, Spotify decided to release the long-awaited annual wrapped late November.

According to Gina Cherelus from The New York Times, the cultural phenomenon deriving from collecting user’s music data was first introduced to account holders’ screens in 2015, but did not officially gain its name in 2017, when Spotify chose to revamp the algorithmic tool. Spotify updated the wrapped again this year, showing account holders darker and bolder graphics. The go-around is the same – once the account holder opens the app, they press the play button on the story capturing their 2022 in review. Each year keeps some continuities, but throws some differences in the mix. Last year, the hype was around audio aura – this time, Spotify has brought in listening personalities and sunrise to sunset moods. 

Sunrise to sunset genres are generated from the account holder’s listening habits during various periods of the day and often end with oxymoronic moods. Junior and staff writer Emma Ryder’s sunrise to sunset genres started off with a genre that was “exciting, nervous and spooky, and then yearning, hopeless, romantic, comforting [in the afternoon].” But then Ryder’s sunset ended with a genre she was not familiar with: “Wistful pumpkin spice cottagecore. I do not know what that means,” said Ryder. 

Ryder was not the only one to be stumped by Spotify’s attempt to stand out as one of the few music platforms with an annual wrapped. Even blogger Rachel Chapman from EliteDaily received a similar concoction: “Taylor Swift is the reason my afternoons are pumpkin spice, cottagecore and wistful.”

Sophomore and staff writer Grace Chandler feels similarly to Chapman. Her top artist was Taylor Swift, covering all of her top songs and three-fourths of her streaming this year. “[My] top songs were all Taylor Swift. My favorite [and top] song is ‘Miss Americana’ and ‘the Heartbreak Prince’, [then] ‘All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)’, ‘The Very First Night’, ‘I Bet You Think About Me’, and ‘Should’ve Said No’,” said Chandler, “[But] I did not listen to Spotify as much as I wanted to this year.” 

Spotify begins the wrapped by declaring they have had enough about 2022 and would rather peek into users’ listening activity instead. The next slide details how a user ventured into the genre-verse, a nice play on words by Spotify, and even became endearing for a second as they patted the user on the back when detailing how many genres the user listened to by saying: “Look at you, you little astronaut.” 

Despite being a Taylor Swift superfan, Chandler explored five different genres: pop, indie rock, mellow gold, modern rock and contemporary country. On the contrary, senior and video editor Christina Nguyen explored ten times that amount: “I think there [are] 50 genres I explored.” Then again, Nguyen’s play time was around 67,000 minutes, almost triple the amount of the average Spotify listener in the United States. Sophomore and video editor Emma Eppolito only garnered around 25,000 minutes of listening time, “I was surprised by some [of the results] but the other half was kind of self explanatory.”

Junior and staff writer Triss Smith also explored indie rock, “My top artists were Car Seat Headrest, Chloe Moriondo, Frankie Cosmos, Superorganism and Alex G.” Her annual wrapped this year did not differentiate much from last year’s, except for the fact that Weezer did not make it onto her top artist list  this year. 

Senior and staff writer Helen McCarty also shares similar music taste with Smith, “My top artists were Declan McKenna, …, Beach House, The Lumineers and M83.” Three out of five of McCarty’s top songs were sung by Declan McKenna: “British Bombs”, “Eventually Darling”, and “The Key To Life On Earth”.

According to Elena Cavender from Mashable, Spotify reported that 2022 would be a representation of how 2022 has been a year of emergence where everything is happening all at once, and the listening personality is one of many features representing. The Spotify Wrapped ends with the listening personality. Very similar to the audio aura, the listening personality was inspired by a popular trend: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The listening personality is determined by four measures: familiarity vs. exploration, loyalty vs. variety, timeliness vs. newness, commonality vs uniqueness. In a year of emergence, the listening personality assigned to the yearly listening habits of a user seems pretty fitting. 

Senior and editor-in-chief Molly DeHaven’s listening personality was the Early Adopter. “[The early adopter is] always seeking the next hot thing. If a song is trending, you are on it. So I was exploration, newness, variety and commonality.”

The Roar hoped for 2022 to bring a fresh, positive start, and we continue to wish that to our readers in 2023. Let’s cheers to a new year filled with endless opportunities (and more graphics depicting our listening habits).