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Your 2018 Wrapped

Spotify is widely used for its streaming service, which includes access to artists, stations, playlists and a large library of podcasts. Although the service started up in 2006, it gained immense popularity in just the last few years. Spotify ended 2018 with roughly 87 million paying subscribers.

For Spotify Premium users, a new feature called “Your 2018 Wrapped” was added. It allows you to see your listening habits: anything from the first song you played in the year to the artist you listened to the most. As 2018 came to a close, users were able to see their year in music.

Dawson Wise, a freshman at PLNU, went through his 2018 Wrapped in December. He said his “most listened to” artist was Post Malone. He really likes this new feature because “it really brings the whole year back together.”

PLNU marketing professor Jamie McIlwaine talks about Spotify’s success with their 2018 Wrapped feature: “It’s fun to see what your year looked like, and if you share it on social media, it’s great word-of-mouth. New potential customers might check out Spotify.”

Spotify users were able to see their 2018 Wrapped by early December, and anyone who regularly uses Instagram might have seen people posting their “most listened to” artist results.

This is a perfect example of effective free advertising because they are getting people to connect based on the service that Spotify provides.

“It shows that consumers are engaged with the brand,” McIlwaine said.

Another curious customer is Kolby Makuuchi, a sophomore at PLNU. She found that her top artist was the 1975.

“I think it’s really interesting to look back on and see what I listened to!”

Spotify is bringing new ideas to the music industry, but these new ideas also bring up important points about ethics. User data is very important, but a sense of privacy and respect is absolutely necessary in this expanding online world. Most apps keep user data to suggest similar products or interests to the consumer. Spotify, however, shows that user data can be collected and summarized for the consumer’s enjoyment.

“Every single app is collecting your data,” McIlwaine said. “I’m ok with it as long as the information is being used in an ethical way. But the boundaries of appropriate use can get very blurry.”

Would a Spotify subscriber consider this appropriate use? Kolby Makuuchi says that she does not mind and does not consider it as very personal information. So far, Spotify has only used data in appropriate ways, showing their subscribers the data as a form of entertainment. As this streaming service continues this ethical use, Spotify’s growing popularity will bring more and more listeners in. What will your 2019 look like?  



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Melanie Coffman

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