Spotify’s Special Weapon

By: Suki Paul

Music lover or not, you’ve probably heard about the Apple Music vs Spotify debate. It’s not surprising that this argument has been going on for years due to their loyal fan bases and the similarities between both platforms. Despite the fact that both Apple Music and Spotify provide a wide variety of music, give you the option to create playlists with others, and offer different plan options, there’s something that places Spotify on top. In December 2020, Spotify revamped its “Spotify Wrapped” concept, giving it a comparative advantage over Apple. But, why has this idea been so effective over the last couple of years?

Spotify Wrapped is essentially a music report which allows users to see their “listening personality” and different facts about their streaming habits throughout the year. This includes but is not limited to the total hours that the user has spent listening to music, their top 100 songs, what listening percentage they fall under for their favorite artists, and even allows them to hear messages from the artists themselves. Spotify’s colorful and interactive report successfully captures attention because it provides user generated content; it measures aspects of their listening history in an easily digestible and comparable way.Personally, I love to see how different my friends and family’s Wrapped are compared to mine even if we like a lot of the same music. It also sparks conversation and connects you to people who have similar tastes. Another thing to note is that Spotify Wrapped creates a fun, suspenseful competition where people have to wait until the end of the year to find out the results. Friends can share their Wrapped and see who’s really a music aficionado and do their claims match up to their results. After all, are you really a fan of your favorite artist if you’re not in their top 10% of listeners? 

Likewise, Spotify Wrapped shareability leverages the immense power of social media. With just a click of a button, your Wrapped can quickly be shared on Instagram or Snapchat, which gets the people you follow involved and places a spotlight on Spotify. “In 2020, Spotify Wrapped was responsible for increasing Spotify’s mobile app downloads by 21% in the first week of December” (Moengage). In order to prevent FOMO (the fear of missing out), non-Spotify users are tempted to make the switch and many actually take the bait. Spotify then becomes more than a music streaming platform, it becomes a social tool; and in a generation where social media dominates, that’s gold!


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