The annual roundup of your listening data has become a Black Friday-esque landmark in corporate Christmas, but it’s not snobbery to say it’s a shallow experience

’Tis the season! For all of your Swiftie friends to find themselves in the top 5% of Taylor Swift fans worldwide, for Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo to loom large on your Instagram Stories, and for the Weeknd’s Blinding Lights to be named everyone’s song of the year for the second year in a row.

Yes, ’tis the season for Spotify Wrapped: the streaming service’s festive display of user data, presenting listeners with their most-played songs, artists and albums of the year in shareable graphics. It’s an effective marketing scheme, Spotify leveraging its own user base to create buzz on its behalf. The platform itself presents it as an opportunity for sombre reflection, like the Queen’s speech: a prompt “to look back on the year” on the music that “helped us get through”.

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