Spotify’s annual Wrapped campaign is back, and this year, the theme is The Real, The Realer and The Realest.
At a Tuesday (Nov. 28) press briefing, Spotify revealed new features for the annual global campaign, which caps off the year by sharing users' most-played songs, artists and podcasts on the audio platform between January and November 2023.
As technology and AI push the music industry to grapple with the challenges of falsely generated content, Spotify’s 2023 theme is inspired by “embracing the real and authentic moments from the past year, both in music and culture,” said Marie Ronn, global group creative director at Spotify.
The campaign aims to reflect and celebrate the real feelings, experiences and listening habits (both fun and embarrassing) that both listeners and creators had in 2023. It does so by incorporating expressive elements into its design, including shapes and gradients, motion, listener experiences in the app and out-of-home elements.
The new bells and whistles
In addition to running the Wrapped campaign in the Spotify app, listeners will be able to access their year-end recaps through web browsers at spotify.com/rapt. As usual, users will be able to view their top artists, top songs, total minutes listened and more.
However, the campaign will be topped off by several new features meant to enhance the listener experience. These include:
Me in 2023: This feature highlights users’ personalised streaming habits by revealing one of 12 listening characteristics that best describe them. For example, the Shapeshifter characteristic describes a listener who moves from one artist to the next quickly, while Luminary describes someone who plays light, upbeat music more than others. The Alchemist characteristic describes those who create their own playlists more than others do, while Vampire describes those who listen to moody music.
Sound Town: Sound Town matches listeners to a city based on their listening and shared artist affinity.
Fan highlights: Listeners’ top categories will be presented in new visual ways. For instance, a story about listeners’ Top 5 Genres will stack the genres up in a sandwich design. The Top 5 Artists highlight will also reveal which month users’ listening peaked for each artist.
Artist Messages: Spotify users can visit the Wrapped feed in-app or online to see video messages from more than 40,000 artists, including Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, Peso Pluma, NewJeans, SZA, Karol G, Dolly Parton and more.
In addition to the new features, Spotify will also incorporate its AI DJ and Blend features into Wrapped through personalised experiences in the app.
DJ will serve up music and commentary about each users’ Wrapped highlights in the first week of the campaign launch. Meanwhile, listeners will also be able to invite their friends to create a shared Blend playlist to combine songs from their Spotify Wrapped reports.
What else is happening
The multi-pronged campaign will also feature several experiential, OOH, brand integration and easter egg elements throughout the week.
For instance, billboards across global cities will celebrate various artists such as Ice Spice and her famous adlib “Grah,” as well as Selena Gomez’s 78 million streams for her single “Single Soon” and the playlist it inspired titled “Dump Him.”
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, stats about rapper Lil Yachty’s recent album will float atop mini yacht boats in a pond at a park.
Other OOH activations include several lie detector pop-ups in difference cities that encourage people to determine if their boyfriend is a liar, inspired by the song “Boy’s a Liar, pt. 2” by Pink Pantheress and Ice Spice.
Meanwhile, Spotify will also bring Wrapped back into its Roblox map, Spotify Island, where it will sell limited edition merch and create campaign-inspired gaming experiences beginning on Thursday, Nov. 30.
As a part of a continued partnership between Spotify and FC Barcelona, Spotify will also integrate videos from players, including Robert Lewandowski, Alexia Putella and Pedri González, guessing each other’s Wrapped stats, in the app. Additionally, 2023 Wrapped will be featured on the LED screens at upcoming matches for the men’s team on Dec. 3 and the women’s team on Dec. 10.
Finally, Spotify has integrated with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri to queue up top songs and albums, as well as create themed stickers available on social platforms through Giphy.
And a new, interactive experience called “Wrapped Listening Parties” will allow artists to speak directly to their fans, thank them for their support, stream their top tracks of the year, answer questions, sell merch and more.
Swifties, this is your era
To culminate the campaign, Spotify will add different elements throughout the app and in OOH assets that nod to Taylor Swift’s fanbase, known as Swifties. After all, she is the top streamed artist globally for 2023.
To celebrate Swift’s achievement, Spotify will debut 21 puzzle pieces filled with Taylor Swift easter eggs on billboards from Sao Paulo to Jakarta in the 48 hours leading up to Wrapped’s launch. The final artwork will reveal a video that’s filled with nods from the Taylor Swift universe, from cats to her infamous red lips.
Anyone who listens to a Taylor Swift song during the week will see their music progress bar change colours to match the Eras album colour. The bar will also begin to sparkle, and the top Swift listeners will receive a special share card for social media and thank you messages from her.
(This article first appeared on Campaign Asia)