COLUMN: Spotify Wrapped is a marketing tactic


Ryan Meyer, Columnist

I know I’m a little late to the party when it comes to making fun of Spotify Wrapped.

After all, I’ve had a busy 2021, being the main character of my own movie. The algorithm honestly knows me pretty well; I’m not sure how it knew I was slam-dancing in my room to the sounds of box fans clattering, but I think that’s impressive.

My two top music moods were wistful and lit, which sounds like the descriptors of a person I’d least want to be around at a party. Imagine someone alternating between sad statements about things they wished they’d done and then immediately getting absolutely down and dirty to “Party in the U.S.A.”

I did enjoy playing two truths and a lie about myself with a computer, but was ashamed when I lost after misreading the question. Stupid computer! Also, Spotify connected me with two podcast hosts that I had no idea were family. The app said it’s OK to consider your favorite podcast hosts as relatives, so welcome to the family, Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman of Baseball BBQ.

I am a little thrown off by the whole “You deserve a playlist as long as your skincare routine” thing. Couldn’t they have picked something a little bit more relatable? “You deserve a playlist as long as your nail-clipping routine.” “You deserve a playlist as long as your occasional manic episode that occurs when you realize the same dryer has been occupied for hours in the basement of your residence hall.”

There’s also the epic relatable Gen Z moment that reminds me I had one song on repeat while everyone else was trying to figure out what NFTs are. There’s so much wrong with this. First, I’m pretty sure everyone got the same stupid screen with their most-played song.

Second, what might people be trying to figure out next year when Spotify Wrapped is released? “While everyone else was trying to wipe their memories of the COVID-19 trauma, you were absolutely BUMPING this track!”

The whole concept of Spotify Wrapped seems like a way to advertise their own algorithmic playlists, like “sad girl starter pack” and “my life is a movie,” both of which were recommended to me. I was also recommended “free refills,” as if I know what the hell that is.

Overall, Spotify Wrapped falls flat. The idea of telling people how many minutes they listened and to who is great, but don’t make it a conversation. Share the data and get away from me. Also, pay your artists more.

Ryan Meyer is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 581-2812.