Opinion: Spotify Wrapped is what YouTube Rewind should've been
Spotify is a huge name in the music streaming industry. And as part of keeping the millions of subscribers happy, the company releases an annual wrap-up of their listening stats in what it calls Spotify Wrapped.
Every year around late November or early December, Spotify users are always looking forward to sharing their unique musical journeys with their friends.
This year was no different. Although with a fair share of its own issues, it became apparent that Spotify Wrapped is the benchmark for what an annual compilation of music listening stats should be.
No sooner had talks of Spotify Wrapped 2022 started doing rounds than Apple Music users started demanding for their own version of Wrapped. Sure, Apple Music has Replay, but it can’t match Wrapped’s detailed approach.
Soundcloud, Amazon Music and Tidal users have also not shied away from asking for a year-in-review of their own. Heck, even Twitter users want in the fun, but unfortunately for Pandora users, their version of Wrapped is no more.
Given all the hype surrounding Spotify Wrapped, it came as no surprise when some YouTube users started asking for a similar compilation of their annual watching statistics.
YouTube inaugurated its version of Spotify Wrapped in 2021 and called it Recap, but it was tied to the YouTube Music app until recently. The stats it offers include your top artists, songs, music videos, playlists and more.
Unlike YouTube Rewind that focused on trends, creators, and moments that employees felt were most noteworthy, YouTube Music Recap is a round-up of an end user’s annual musical journey alongside their listening habits.
Besides your top artists, albums, and songs, YouTube Recap also tags along your “music personality”, personalized cards and graphics flaunting your top listening trends.
Unlike Spotify Wrapped, Recap goes further to include a summary of your favorite live performances and even lets you upload photos from Google Photos for further customization of your year-in-review highlights.
Despite YouTube’s efforts with Recap, Spotify Wrapped remains the superior product thanks to more detailed stats like the different genres explored throughout the year, daily listening habits, country-based rankings, and more.
But having just entered its second year, YouTube Recap has time to get better, probably even surpass Spotify especially given the huge database. But it could be miles ahead if YouTube Rewind focused on end users rather than creators.
YouTube Rewind, unlike Spotify Wrapped, was a presentation of YouTube’s uniqueness, but specifically designed to market creators to advertisers hoping that they bag huge deals.
While Rewind was a great initiative, this approach was doomed to fail at some point. Basically, YouTube would decide what they felt needed to feature in the video collage, hence the backlash with the 2018 edition.
When this approach backfired after the company admitted its shortcomings, YouTube Rewind joined the long list of products that were launched and suddenly killed by Google.
YouTube argued that creators had started coming up with their own home-made versions of Rewind, so the company thought handing the baton over was better than stomaching annual criticism whenever they put out a video.
But rather than nix it, rebranding YouTube Rewind to a round up that shows all stats of a viewers’ top channels, top artists/creators, most watched videos, most popular genre/category, and other Wrapped-like data would have been a big win.
This is especially significant given that Spotify debuted Wrapped in 2015 — years after YouTube launched Rewind back in 2010 — yet it’s become massively huge. Perhaps detrimentally huge.
It might be a little late, but I’m glad YouTube Recap is making steps towards emulating Spotify Wrapped. My only hope is that it gets better with stats from the main YouTube app, especially since I hardly use the Music app.
What are your thoughts? Do let us know in the comments section.
Is Spotify Wrapped what YouTube Rewind should have been all along?
- Definitely (50%, 1 Votes)
- Wrapped is unmatched (50%, 1 Votes)
- Bring back Rewind (0%, 0 Votes)
- YouTube Recap will get better (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 2
Featured image: Wikimedia
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