It's that time of year again when Spotify users congregate under their favorite green app and unwrap data-driven gifts, thanks to their end-of-year review Wrapped. As a Spotify Premium user for several years, I did the same and forced a smile when its "Music Personality" feature called me "Player."
But this year I've been watching Apple Music users with a little more envy than usual. Not because its equivalent feature, Apple Music Replay, is a vast improvement over Wrapped; in fact, it looks like a shameless scam when you compare the animations it uses to summarize its users' listening habits over the course of the last year. .
(Image credit: Apple)
However, Apple Music Replay does offer something I'd like to see in Spotify Wrapped: it actually lets you access your listening data (if not entertainment) all year long, rather than just at the end of November.
And those are the types of information that I would like to delve into in the Spotify app outside of Season Wrapped, instead of having to use third-party apps.
Not just for Christmas
There's no doubt that Spotify has it's fill when it comes to holiday entertainment from your listening habits.
For starters, the Apple Music Replay equivalent is bizarrely only available on the platform's website (opens in a new tab) rather than in-app. On Spotify, it will only appear in the "home" section of the app (as long as you have updated to the latest version 8.7.78).
Spotify Wrapped's animated summary is also more comprehensive than Apple Music Replay. Apple's is shorter and mainly includes your song, artist and album of the year, as well as your five favorite genres.
(Image credit: future)
Spotify, meanwhile, explains how many different genres you've dabbled in and what you listen to at certain times of day (apparently I like 'Warm Good Vibes Angst' in the afternoon, which is probably my Myers Briggs type of personality).
But uniquely for Apple, its Music Replay is a bit less locked down than Spotify. If you access the web version (opens in a new tab) at any time, you can see statistics (albeit limited) such as number of plays and hours listened to, as well as your most popular artists and most listened to albums. Your "Play" playlist, also available in the "Listen Now" tab of the app, will also update weekly with your most played tracks.
Scroll down the page on your year-end music playing animation, and you'll also see the "Top 10" charts for your most played songs, artists, and albums, giving you a bit more depth than the top five. first of Spotify. Still, while Spotify Wrapped and Apple Music Replay have their own strengths, both only scratch the surface of the kind of music data reporting that's possible on other services.
acts of support
Currently, the only way to get insights into your Spotify listening habits throughout the year is through third-party apps like Stats.fm (iOS, Android), which is currently working on adding support for Apple Music.
This app is a really handy way to get charts of your top songs, artists, and albums for custom time periods, assuming you're happy to give it pretty broad permissions. If you've been on Spotify for a while, you can also get great data by downloading your Spotify account's historical data from the Privacy section of the site and then uploading it into an app like Stats.fm.
Stats.fm (formerly Spotistats) can show you year-round data about your Spotify listening habits, though you have to give up some important permissions and pay a one-time fee to unlock all the features. (Image credit: Future)
This kind of data opens up the possibility of getting some pretty fascinating insights, like what you listened to the most in a given year, or how much you actually listen to albums rather than songs. My only real problem is that the type of music I listen to while working (which Spotify has called "psychedelic sympathetic weird") can skew that data toward music that helps me focus, rather than the genre that actually matters most to me.
Last.fm actually pioneered the entire music dataset, long before the Spotify Wrapped concept was apparently sparked by an intern's project in 2019. As an early social network, it brought the entire concept to the next level with its 'Neighbors Feature, which matched you with your musical soulmates on the service based on your listening habits.
While this may be a step too far for most, it shows the vast possibilities of our music listening data. For now, though, I'd be happy to see a fancy board wrapped up in Spotify all year long, though I suspect that, like Christmas, its marketing power is all the more potent due to its rarity.