A year in review: Music stats for 2021

design and illustration: Natalia Favila Inacua

Whether we have music playing in the background of class or certain people are focusing on themselves with earbuds in, music surrounds our daily lives. Soon enough, all of us will have some form of report on the music we’ve taken in within the past year from any streaming service used.

These reports have been around for several years and they track the music that has been streamed to then sum all of it up. The first year of Spotify’s end of year report was known as the “Year in more” in 2015. It changed in 2016 to Spotify “Wrapped” and has remained ever since.

These reports have become more personalized over time, tracking the songs listened to and sharing most played artists and total time spent listening to music or podcasts in the app.

On Dec. 1, Spotify wrapped came out and many people began sharing their most listened to tracks and artists to various social media sites. Comparing, contrasting and reflecting on the past years listening trends among our peers is always a surprise and it yields interesting results.

This year’s Wrapped featured the typical most played songs, total listening time, top five artists and top five genres. It newly presented the users “audio aura” which displays the overall mood and vibes given off by the music.

Although this only is released once a year there are several websites that compile our listening data and they are accessible year round. Some include “Obscurify”, “Stats for Spotify” and “Whisperify” where a snippet of a song is played from a playlist the user has saved and they guess what it is for a quick music trivia game.

In addition, users can view all-time top listened to songs, artists and genres which even Wrapped leaves out because it focuses on the year. Seeing how the user’s taste in music grows is always interesting to see.

One way to see growth between years on Spotify is going back and looking at past years top songs on Spotify. Past years top songs are found compiled in playlists to show what was listened to most each year. Looking through the different top songs can bring up lost memories and connections to old music.

Apple Music also does an end of the year report called “Apple Music Replay”. It highlights total music listened for the year, top songs and how many times they were listened to, how many times the top 20 albums and artists were played or the number of hours they were listened to.

The day that these come out we are drawn to them. Students in classes comparing them to see who listened to more music or people trying to get within the top one percent of listeners for their favorite artist. Either way, it is a sweet, little present that all can find and enjoy.