Apple Music’s Terrible Year in Review Gives Me Serious Spotify Wrapped FOMO


It’s December 1, which for Spotify users means the music streaming service’s annual tradition of Spotify Wrapped summary: personalized, flashy infographics of the best songs, playlists, artists, and podcast you’ve listened to on the web. over the past year, chok- full of data, mood boards and just a pinch of judgment.

I unfortunately do not use Spotify. Instead, I pay Apple $ 10 per month for Apple Music, Spotify’s biggest competitor. And so, while pretty much everyone I know on Twitter and Instagram spends all day showcasing their personal taste in music, I get … a playlist of the songs I have the most. listened to this year.

Its good.

Spotify has been eating Apple’s lunch ever since years now with Wrapped, which practically every year has become its own Internet vacation. And yet, it took Apple four full years to even launch its Simple Replay feature, which debuted in 2019 and hasn’t been updated significantly since. (I’ve been using smart playlists on iTunes for years to try and misrepresent the Spotify experience.)

2021 is no exception, with Spotify delivering what appears to be its most lavish recaps yet. My wife (who is a Spotify user) spent the morning showing me her bespoke playlist, which included (among other things) songs specially designed for specific moods, rankings from her place among Doja’s global listeners Cat, a color-changing “audio aura,” and an interactive quiz. All of this is designed to be shared and displayed on other social media platforms.

My Wife’s Much Cooler Spotify Wrapped Recap.

And it’s not just music listeners, either. The artists seem To I also love Spotify Wrapped, with their own personalized recaps showing how many millions of times their fans have streamed their music around the world.

It’s not that Apple Music can’t make its own version of Wrapped; Apple certainly has the data, and I find it hard to believe the $ 2.79 trillion company couldn’t find the space in its budget to task a team of designers and engineers to build a similar tool. Or maybe he could try buying, which already does a whole bunch of music trends based on customer listening habits, if he wanted to offload some of that work.

And there are many reasons why Apple is doing just that. outraged my annual dose of social media FOMO: Apple has made no secret of its ambitions of recurring revenue from services as a key part of its future. And yet, instead of jumping on the easy marketing victory and massive user goodwill that a more robust replay feature could deliver year after year, Apple is simply choosing to do the bare minimum.

Look at it another way: Every year, Spotify manages to get millions of people to spend days posting algorithmically generated Spotify ads to every corner of their social media presence, without even offering any freebies or free incentives. Why would not Is Apple Music trying to get a share of this stock?

It’s not even as if Apple has to worry about angering Spotify by shamelessly ripping off one of its most popular features: Spotify. already believes Apple is a “ruthless bully” who monopolizes the App Store to promote its own services and has filed an antitrust complaint in the EU to that end. It’s not like there’s a good, healthy corporate relationship to ruin here. If Instagram could shamelessly copy Snapchat stories, Apple could figure out how to replicate its own version of Wrapped.

In fact, it’s more and more surprising year after year that apparently no one is copying Spotify’s absurdly popular data visualizations. With a few exceptions, like Microsoft’s recent 20th anniversary Xbox retrospective, there are hardly any takers yet to follow Spotify’s lead here. Where’s Netflix’s flashy look at the shows you’ve had over the year, or PlayStation’s deep dive into the number of hours you’ve spent trying to beat Pride and Joy Prototype in Final Fantasy VII remake? The closest comparison I can think of is Goodreads’ “Your Year In Books,” which also works more like a simple list than the full experience Spotify has created here.

But for now, I’m spending the yearning month of December again as my Spotify user friends get to show off all of their favorite songs, hoping with increasingly futile optimism that Apple Music might understand them. things then.

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