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What’s New in Spotify Wrapped?

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Since 2016, Spotify has been collecting user data and compiling individualized annual reports, Spotify Wrapped, featuring each listener’s top artists, most frequently played songs and top genres. The 2023 Spotify Wrapped rolled out on Wednesday, November 29th, introducing many new features to its end-of-the-year review and building on the annual excitement of taking a trip down memory lane.

Per annual tradition, Spotify provides users with their top five artists of the year along with a playlist for their top songs of the year. Many new artists, songs, and albums have grown immensely throughout 2023. 

According to Spotify’s global statistics, the most popular artists for 2023 were, in order, Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, The Weeknd, Drake, and Peso Pluma. The #1 album for this year was Un Verano Sin Ti by Bad Bunny, followed by Taylor Swift’s Midnights and SZA’s SOS. The top 3 songs for this year were “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus, “Kill Bill” by SZA, and “As It Was” by Harry Styles.

This year, Spotify named Taylor Swift the Global Top Artist of the Year. Swift’s Midnights and Lover albums were within the top ten albums of 2023, with a total of eight of her albums appearing in the top 100. 2023 was a transformative time for Swift, ranging from her re-recordings of her albums Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) to her sixth tour, The Eras Tour, and being named Time’s Person of the Year, to name a few.

Many users were also thrilled about the introduction of Sound Town, which incorporates song and artist choices to match users with a city location whose population is most likely to share similar music tastes. There are over 1,300 cities that Spotify matched its users with, some of the most common being Berkeley, CA, USA, Burlington, VT, USA, Cambridge, MA, USA, Cuiabá, Brazil, Jakarta, Indonesia, and York, Great Britain. The cities are chosen considering two factors: the user’s most-streamed artists of the year and how the artists are streamed in other cities.

DJ is another newly added feature to Wrapped, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to curate a personalized selection of music and remixes along with spoken commentary by a realistic-sounding AI voice. Spotify first debuted the beta version of DJ in February of 2023, which they note “knows you and your music taste so well it can choose what to play for you.” DJ was first released in the US and Canada, and later made its way to the UK and Ireland; DJ will expand to more countries during future cycles. This feature is only available for one week after the release of Spotify Wrapped, whereas the rest of the Wrapped is accessible until the end of the year.

Although there has been an ongoing debate over whether or not AI is harmful, some students believe that using AI in Spotify does not bring up any problems. Samira Yunusova (‘27) said, “I’ve never used the DJ and I’m not a huge fan of AI in general, but I think AI can be useful to a certain extent. For Spotify, it’s pretty harmless since you’re just helping people expand their music taste and what they listen to.”

Others agree, recognizing that AI can be beneficial. Avianna Lai (‘26) said, “I think people sensationalize [AI] to be something it’s not. Some people think it’ll take over the world and I don’t really believe that, so I don’t really have many issues with AI, especially since it can be used for cool things like with Spotify.”

The beta version of the Blend feature was first introduced to Spotify in June of 2021, which lets up to 10 users merge their music tastes into one playlist. The playlist consists of songs that users in the blend listen to and have in common, along with some songs that they don’t have in common. The Blend also gives users a percentage of how similar their music tastes are.

This added a social aspect to the streaming platform, as users can now connect and bond with their common love of specific songs or artists, while also finding their differences when it comes to music. This year’s Wrapped was the first to have the Blend feature, allowing users to combine songs from their 2023 wrapped with others. 

Fans created over 22.5 million Blends this year. The top songs added to Blends include See You Again by Tyler the Creator, Paint The Town Red by Doja Cat, fukumean by Gunna, Pink + White by Frank Ocean, and From the Start by Laufey. 

Me in 2023, building on last year’s addition of listening personalities, categorizes users into one of twelve card characters connected to listening habits. These characteristics include Vampire, Alchemist, Time Traveler, Cyclops, Luminary, Mastermind, Roboticist, Shapeshifter, Collector, Hunter, Fanatic, and Hypnotist. Each character has its original image, similar to those on tarot cards. This feature tells users what music they listen to and how they listen to music.

“I think trends and categories are fun but they can be silly sometimes, almost a little elitist at some point but I think it’s just a fun way for people to sort themselves by how they view themselves,” said Yunusova.

Amongst the many positive takes on Spotify Wrapped, there are a few aspects that users wish would be changed or added. Spotify begins tracking data for Wrapped on the 1st of January and concludes on the 31st of October, consisting of all songs listened to for at least 30 seconds. Those listen counts are used in individual Wrapped summaries, but also in the global statistics used to calculate top artists, genres, etc.

Some users would prefer a different system of data collection. “I didn’t even know that my top genre existed,” said Mary Bhowmik ‘25, “I wish Spotify could let us block off certain songs from our Wrapped since they don’t really represent our taste well.”

Other users, however, would prefer a different timeline for Spotify Wrapped. Lai stated, “I wish Spotify wouldn’t stop tracking your listening history in October, like wait until the end of the year and get everything from the year since a lot can change from October to December.”

Many other features were introduced this year as well, such as Artist messages, Monthly listening recaps, and a Genre-Sandwich. Users eagerly await this exciting event annually and are looking forward to what’s to come in 2024’s Spotify Wrapped.

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About the Contributor
Shoilee Mandal, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Shoilee Mandal (she/her) is the Editor of Arts and Entertainment and a Layout Editor. Shoilee is on The Survey because she believes it plays an important role in keeping the student body informed and able to acknowledge surrounding complexities. To Shoilee, journalism is a powerful tool for spreading awareness and highlighting stories beyond a surface level. She cites journalism as an uplifter of marginalized voices that are waiting to be heard. Her favorite news sources include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. In the future, she hopes to fuel her interests in neuroscience and psychology, while also honing her passion for writing. When not writing, she can be found drawing, painting, or getting lost in a good book. Her favorite book is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

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