What We Can Learn From Spotify Wrapped


By Alana Humphreys

November 30, 2023

As another year comes to an end, individuals seek avenues to reflect and reminisce on the 12 months that have unfolded. It’s a time where new goals are created, a time when people are most driven to enhance their personal journeys. Picture this: the streaming platform you frequent use offers a personalised and unique soundtrack, highlighting the music that you have listened to the most throughout the year. It’s an additional avenue for introspection, and this is why Spotify Wrapped has evolved into more than a feature – it has become an annual pop-culture event.


Quite often brands will come up with engaging campaign concepts that will achieve their desired objectives. However, the execution of these concepts doesn’t always match expectations. This is where Spotify have excelled. Since the launch of Spotify Wrapped in 2016, the streaming platform has gone above and beyond thinking of new ways to deliver users with a personalised yearly review experience.
Much of Spotify Wrapped success can be attributed to the consumer being at the heart of the campaign and the extensive knowledge of who their audience are. It is a way for Spotify to reward their users for their loyalty and emphasising the connection between the brand and consumer. Spotify has executed true personalisation where users are able to build a deep connection with the company as they feel seen, heard, and special. This type of relationship building goes a long way in building brand trust and loyalty.


It is hard to miss when Spotify Wrapped is released because, what feels like every single Spotify user, share their year in review across all social media platforms, which has been achieved through the shareability of the creative. By launching Spotify Wrapped on mobile apps it has made it much easier for users to share their wrapped onto their own social media accounts extending the organic reach.
There is a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) that circulates with the Spotify Wrapped campaign. Users feel the need to share their reviews as a way to portray their personality online through audio. Not only this but an aspect of organic competition comes into play, it’s human nature. Insights such as minutes listened this year and top artist unlock possibilities for users to compare themselves against the next. Spotify creates a sense of competition and achievement without using physical incentives. If a user returns a result they are ‘proud’ of they will share it for their social media community to see and idolise.
In 2019, we saw the introduction of Artist Wrapped which gives active artists on the platform the ability to gain shareable content pieces that highlight key insights to their music. This addition appears to be a small and insignificant yet holds incredible importance for brand awareness. Building upon the community aspect, fans have a tendency to follow their favourite artists, so this new feature allows artists to deepen the relationship with fans by thanking their listeners. In terms of drawing new audiences to the platform, Spotify wrapped can be seen as an opportunity to encourage new users to become active users on Spotify.


So, what can we learn from this campaign?
The shareability factor cannot be overstated; the success of Spotify Wrapped is not just in the data it presents but in how effortlessly users can broadcast their musical journey across social media platforms. This not only satisfies the innate human desire for self-expression but also triggers a sense of FOMO, driving users to actively participate and share their experiences. The introduction of Artist Wrapped further expands the campaign’s impact, creating a ripple effect that draws in even non-Spotify users.
Updates – Although the Spotify Wrapped concept has remained typically the same since 2016, it gets bigger and bigger each year. With additional ways to identify the type of listener you are or the ability to delve deeper into your listening habits keeps listeners coming back to find out more about themselves. In short, ensure you are giving your audience something to look forward too.
Join in – Although it may not be a viral concept that your brand has created it doesn’t mean you can’t join the fun. Creating brand specific versions of popular content is a great way to join online conversations and make a brand appear more personable.
In conclusion, Spotify Wrapped stands as a testament to the power of personalisation, user engagement, and the art of crafting shareable content. Spotify’s execution of this annual campaign has not only met but exceeded expectations, setting a standard for other brands to follow. By placing the consumer at the heart of the campaign and leveraging their extensive knowledge of their audience, Spotify has fostered a deep connection with users, building trust and loyalty.

The key takeaways from this phenomenon are clear: prioritise shareability, consistently provide updates or fresh angles to keep your audience engaged, and don’t hesitate to join existing trends or conversations. Spotify Wrapped has proven that a well-executed annual event, designed with the user in mind, can not only strengthen the bond between a brand and its users but also create a lasting pop-culture phenomenon. As we reflect on the success of Spotify Wrapped, brands across industries can draw inspiration from this music-centric experience, learning that in the digital age, personalisation, engagement, and the spirit of sharing are the keys to creating memorable and impactful campaigns.

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