We all know we’re being tracked online, and movies like The Great Hack have shown us just how terrifying Big Data can be. But with options like “Accept All Cookies” and “Only While Using App,” we’d like to believe we have some semblance of control over it. So it’s interesting how one brand has taken the practice of data mining and turned it into today’s biggest shareable moment.
Instead of weaponizing the data it collects, Spotify gives it back to users and encourages us to celebrate it. In the annual Spotify Wrapped campaign, we learn about our listening habits from the past 12 months and can share them with the world. And even though Spotify is using our information to grow its platform, the company has unlocked the secret to our embracing data tracking: Our desire to tell the world more about ourselves – to show off our musical tastes, however good or bad – is greater than our desire for privacy.
Spotify Wrapped is a perfect combination of individuality and community. The information is deeply personalized to the user while showing us what we have in common with each other. Because results are shareable to other platforms, we can brag about (or compare) our musical tastes far and wide. And when we do share, we’re not only branding ourselves, but giving Spotify and artists free clout, too.
While the data alone is enough to intrigue users, Spotify keeps us engaged by identifying our listening habits as a personality trait. The branding for Spotify Wrapped draws us in with bold colors and quirky copy. This year, the company implemented interactive elements like quizzes and audio auras to “teach” us more about ourselves.
Overall, Spotify Wrapped is a wildly successful program that its subscribers embrace (or bemoan) every year. There’s a thin line between tracking and transparency, but Spotify has shown that when the data is personalized and packaged correctly, we’ll jump at the chance to support it. Now my only question is – when will we get Netflix Wrapped?