once a year, spotify In the morning in the shower or on the way to work, you can start your music listening routine ‘Wrapped’.‘, a personalized annual summary where each user details which artists, songs and genres they listen to the most. And like every year, people’s willingness to share their musical interests is taking over the world. social networksturns the platform’s listings into a guaranteed success.
This Wednesday the phenomenon was repeated. In a few minutes, Spotify has become a trend with over 2.6 million mentions in Spain. twitter, The hashtag #2020Wrapped received more than 800,000 hits. Inside stories public instagram or in private chats What’s up?users shared their catwalks with their friends and followers, opening the door to the great digital debate that strengthened the campaign of the world’s largest music platform. streaming of the world. What is your success? Why are we afraid to share the music we listen to?
Music as a personal construct
Music has a strong emotional component. It can make us think, evoke nostalgia or elevate our mood. But beyond that, it plays a key role in social and cultural integration between individuals. As the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has already analyzed in the last century, selectively sharing our musical tastes – as well as with movies, TV series or books – is a method of constructing an identity that we want to reflect on society; belonging to a particular group.
A study published in the journal ‘Psychological Science’ in 2006 revealed that students who meet online are more likely to talk about their musical preferences in order to better understand each other’s personalities. According to another study conducted in 2011, those who listen to the same music as us like us more. With the advent of digital platforms and our constant exposure to them, this phenomenon has intensified.
Philosopher Eudald Espluga goes even further, noting that the “obligation of self-expression” behind sharing these lists responds to a “productivity pressure”. “Under platform capitalism, we are forced to act like our own entrepreneurs. “More than a narcissistic or arrogant urge to stand out or for attention, this competition responds to a structural political condition that binds us to a neoliberal economy of subjectivity that we must constantly produce ourselves.”
Users as ‘influencers’ of the brand
Conscious of this, Spotify used this factor to relaunch its brand and drive more engagement with its users. While it published lists of the best of the year until 2016, in 2017 it decided to personalize these lists with rankings and statistics describing our tastes and consumption habits using databases. The decision was instantly successful. If your list reflects guilty pleasure, maybe you’re keeping it to yourself, but if the result confirms your vision, it makes you want to share it with others by identifying yourself as a Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift fan, or local. The punk-rock band only plays in small halls.
At that time hit Spotify manages to turn users into ‘influencers’ of the brand, thus creating a huge discussion organically on social networks and turning it into a powerful and free advertising campaign. This resonance also reaches the media, which helps grow the campaign. That’s their purpose: lists carefully designed the way we want to share. Its graphics, images, colors and square format blend perfectly with platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat: “Spotify gains a lot of visibility with such a simple and inexpensive resource and eats up its competitors for a week.” . pablo porcar, the founder of the music magazine Binaural and co-director of the communication agency of the Blanco Impala groups. “Also, creating these custom lists creates a very important new listening cycle.”
Catch new users
The interaction between Spotify and its users allows the platform to pursue an economic goal. “‘Wrapped’ also creates this FOMO effect that attracts new users to consider using Spotify, so it’s a domino effect,” he admitted in 2017. june sauvagethead of global product marketing for the company.
FOMO (Fear of being excluded in English) is how social anxiety is known not to live the life that others reflect. Therefore, bombarding these lists across networks serves to generate envy and seduce potential users using other platforms. As in other years, memes are circulating these days mocking those who don’t have access to their annual lists.
The strategy is refined each year to nurture our curiosity to get to know ourselves and others. Added the most listened astrological symbols in 2018; In 2019, the lists were expanded to include the most-streamed of the decade (in response to plagiarism) Apple Music From those charts) and added statistics on podcasts this year, rewards like quizzes on our tastes, highlighting whether you’re among an artist’s top fans, and tagging yourself as a “pioneer” if you listened to a song “before that”. was great”, that is, before it hits 50,000 views.
This not only makes us curious about others, but also awakens our competitiveness. To increase this FOMO, Spotify has also publicly released global charts of the most popular artists. All these factors make these listings a viral trend every year.
What about our privacy?
While the image of the tech giants has been tarnished by being involved in data scandals, campaigns like this are re-launching Spotify’s popularity, improving users’ engagement and sense of belonging with the brand. Uncovering the music we’re listening to is seen as a harmless curiosity, as opposed to our search history or private chats.
But Spotify knows more about us than that. More than 286 million monthly users spend an average of 25 hours per month collecting personal data; this time is improving how its algorithm knows your tastes as well as your mood. As science reporter Haley Weiss noted in ‘The Atlantic’ in 2018, the success and popularity of ‘Wrapped’ “may reveal our love for music more than our data protection.”