Spotify’s anticipated year-end review, Spotify Wrapped, has arrived today with several new features in store. These include “Me in 2023,” which analyzes your listening habits and describes not just what you stream, but how you listen to music. Another feature is “Sound Town,” which matches you with a city based on your listening history and shared artists affinity. The year-end review also includes a hamburger-style layout of your favorite genres, designed for social sharing. Additionally, popular Spotify features like Blend and the app’s newer AI DJ have been integrated into Spotify’s year-end review. The AI DJ offers a personalized experience based on your listening in 2023, along with AI-voiced commentary around your top artists, genres, and songs.
Now in its ninth year, the theme for Spotify Wrapped 2023 is about celebrating what’s “real,” the company told an audience on Tuesday at a livestreamed preview event.
That’s an especially timely theme, given that the rise of AI has made it hard to know “what content is generated and what is not,” explained Spotify’s Global Group Creative Director Marie Roenn, speaking at the event where Wrapped was unveiled alongside Spotify’s year-end lists of top artists, albums, songs, and podcasts.
Despite this focus, Wrapped this year will, in fact, include AI elements. The app’s well-received AI DJ, whose voice and personality are based on Spotify’s head of Cultural Partnerships, Xavier “X” Jernigan, will guide Spotify users through their Wrapped experience, offering music and commentary throughout the first week after Wrapped launches.
Another addition will bring Blend’s collaborative playlists into Wrapped. With Blend, friends can combine the songs they both like into a single playlist. Now, users will be able to create a Wrapped Blend of sorts by tapping on their “2023 Top Songs” filter and then inviting their friends to create a Blend with them, based on their year of listening.
As in previous years, Spotify has also come up with other fun, social elements that turn its data and insights into sharable features.
The highlights this year include “Me in 2023,” a personalized experience that will identify users as matching up with one of 12 listening characters that best describe the way you listen to music. For example, a “Shapeshifter” quickly moves from one artist to the next; “Luminary” plays light, upbeat music the most; the “Alchemist” creates playlists more than others do; and so on. Jernigan told the audience he was the latter, noting he made and listened to playlists more than the average person.
“Sound Town” also offers a new spin on Spotify’s data by matching users to a city where listening habits are shared and the same artists are often streamed — a feature that may make users feel more connected with the global streaming community.
Meanwhile, Spotify has refreshed the way it shows users their Top 5’s, with your Top 5 genres stacked up in a sandwich-style design — which was also mirrored by the catering options at Spotify’s live preview event, in fact.
Spotify is introducing new features for its Wrapped 2023, offering users insights into their listening habits for the year. One of the highlights is the ability to see when their listening peaked for each artist, potentially correlating with live concert experiences. For instance, Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” may have prompted fans to stream more of her songs beforehand. Swift also achieved a significant milestone by becoming Spotify’s most-streamed global artist with 26.1 billion streams since January 1. Her album “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” also set a new record as the most-streamed album in a single day.
Users will also have access to their top artists, genres, songs, podcasts, and total minutes listened throughout 2023.
Another exciting feature is the return of Artist Messages, where fans can receive video messages from their favorite artists based on their listening history. Over 40,000 artists, including Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, SZA, KAROL G, and others, will be participating in this year’s Your Artist Messages.
Users will also be able to access their Wrapped feed directly from the app’s Home Screen, along with Spotify’s editorial playlists, artist merchandise, and concert information.
Furthermore, Spotify’s Wrapped is venturing into the metaverse with a tie-in with Roblox. “Spotify Island” in Roblox will feature “WonderWrapped,” allowing users to access limited-edition merchandise and engage with top charts and other interactive features.
Other integrations include a partnership with FC Barcelona, where players will guess each other’s Wrapped and Spotify will be featured on LED screens at upcoming matches. Additionally, Wrapped will be integrated with voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, and select artists will host audio-only Wrapped “Listening Parties” on the web.
Spotify recently unveiled its Wrapped feature, showcasing the top artists, songs, albums, and podcasts for the year. The top artists globally included Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, The Weeknd, Drake, Peso Pluma, Feid, Travis Scott, SZA, Karol G, and Lana Del Rey.
As a tribute to Swift’s success, Spotify added an in-app Easter Egg that customizes the progress bar when playing her songs to match the song’s Era color, accompanied by a sparkling progress button.
Top podcasts of the year featured The Joe Rogan Experience, Call Her Daddy, Huberman Lab, anything goes with emma chamberlain, On Purpose with Jay Shetty, Crime Junkie, This Past Weekend w/ Theo Von, Serial Killers, The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett, and TED Talks Daily. Additional top lists can be viewed on Spotify’s blog.
Despite being imitated by other streaming platforms, this year’s Wrapped felt somewhat predictable. In a year that has been dominated by AI advancements, such as Spotify’s AI DJ, consumers anticipated more AI-inspired features, like a chatbot providing Wrapped data or the inclusion of AI-generated art. However, Spotify took a different approach, focusing on celebrating what’s “real” rather than what’s artificially generated. This could possibly reflect an inclination to proceed cautiously in response to the potential impact of AI on music. After all, with AI’s ability to simulate the likes of John Lennon, the notion of authenticity is called into question.
Wrapped continues to be a successful product, with engagement growing from 30 million users in 2017 to over 120 million in 2021. Last year, engagement soared even higher, reaching 156 million users by December 31.