Tis the Season for “Your Year in One Playlist”

Spotify and Apple Music, two of the most popular listening platforms. Image provided by Creative Commons.
Spotify and Apple Music, two of the most popular listening platforms. Image provided by Creative Commons.

It’s that time of year when Spotify and Apple Music communities are buzzing with chatter. While there might be general controversy over which platform is better, there’s an element that brings it all together. Spotify Wrapped and Apple Replay are features into both apps for users to see and hear their year’s “listening statistics.” This means how long they’ve listened to music, artists they’ve listened to—including ones where they top the charts as a listener. 

Unsurprisingly, 27% of those who answered our Spotify Wrapped and Apple Music poll said Taylor Swift was their most listened to artist for 2023. The singer-songwriter released a plethora of new music this year in the realm of pop. “I never get bored of her music,” states junior Rory Schriver, a self-proclaimed “Swiftie.” Based on the responses to the poll, pop was a dominating genre for both Apple Music and Spotify listeners.

Taylor Swift, however, is not the only famous Hollywood star who has released music that has brought Woodgrove fans flurrying to listening platforms. Genres and artists range from the 1960’s to the early 2000’s. This includes artists like Jack Harlow, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo, and surprisingly, The Beatles. Senior Alex Tucker, has listened to The Beatles for over 3 years. Tucker likes that depicting the message behind the songs is easier in older music than modern genres. Now that The Beatles have released a new song, Now and Then, fans have mixed opinions. “I related to the emotions in the song, I generally liked it. I was nervous because when old bands release new music, I’m pretty skeptical of the quality, but I enjoyed it!” exclaimed Tucker.

Woodgrove is divided regarding how much time they spent listening to music over the last 12 months. Listening times varied between a little over an hour to well over 200,000 minutes across all platforms. Sophomore Olivia Sullivan, who reached 250,000 minutes this year, shared their music habits. Sullivan was not surprised, “I very much expected a high number.” With the growing popularity of Spotify and Apple Music among Gen Z, music continues to be an important aspect of Woodgrove student life. Sullivan noted the importance of music in their life, saying, “It helps me focus.” 

When people think of music, they often overlook the importance of how it can unite groups of people together. Even though it’s still a debate over which app is better, no one can deny that huddles of friends watching the Wrapped and Replay slideshows together is a beautiful picture. It stems from music, whether theatrical soundtracks, oldies, rock, or pop. It stems from minutes, from 10 to over 100,000. It stems from a connection, a commonality, that happens to have a little musical flair to it. 

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