Everything Spotify Did Right with their 2020 Wrapped

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…the time of year when we open up an unexpected gift and feel a little weird about it, not because the gift is unexciting, but because it’s not quite what we wanted, asked for, or expected.

No, not Christmas. It’s time for your annual Spotify Wrapped. Every year I open up my Wrapped expecting, nay, knowing that an artist or song is going to be on the list, only to have that expectation blown out of the water. This year, however, my expectations were blown away for a different reason. Spotify did a fantastic job with this year’s Wrapped in every sense of the word. From the design to the copy to the interactive quizzes, Spotify showed us how to create something that users really want. Let’s take a look at everything Spotify’s genius team did right in their 2020 Wrapped.

They Made It a Story

You might not be familiar with the term, but you’re sure familiar with the concept. Stories have popped up everywhere in 2020, from WordPress websites to Twitter, and now Spotify Wrapped. Spotify did a great job using this novel content type. While many creators are still trying to figure out how to take advantage of this multimedia wonder, others are jumping in head first, and Spotify used every tool in the ‘stories’ toolbox: good visuals, good design, and good copy.

They Kept the Copy Short and Sweet

The fact that you’ve made it this far is an achievement in and of itself. People hate reading. Well, most people hate reading. When it comes to social media and content creating, copy has to be short, sweet, and engaging. Every writer knows that’s easier said than done. But Spotify defied the odds by keeping their copy succinct. They did an even better job engaging the reader by using the dumpster fire that is 2020 to their advantage, making relatable quips and jokes throughout.

They Used Data to Their Advantage

As much as people hate reading, they love numbers. Add numbers or data points to any piece of content and people will eat it up like a hot dog on the Fourth of July. Finding relatable data points is easier said than done sometimes, but as mots of us are aware, social media networks have enough data on their users to fill up acres and acres of servers.

In the 2020 Wrapped, just like in past years, Spotify delved deep into their data treasure trove to share your top artists and songs of the year.

“But Reed,” you’re saying, “This is the same kind of thing they do every year! It’s not different.” Sure it is! Because this year, they showed where you ranked compared to others that listen to the same artist. This was a badge of honor for a lot of people on social media. I saw tweets and Instagram stories all day long of people bragging that they were in the top .5% of listeners, and some even in the top .05% of listeners. For big bands with millions of streams, being in the top .05% of listeners is an achievement indeed.

Speaking of tweets and Instagram stories…

They Made It Easy to Share

When you get an achievement like being in the top .05% of BTS listeners (BTS is a band the kids listen to, right?), you want to show it off to your friends. Instead of forcing users to screenshot and send via text or post, Spotify added a feature to each slide that made the story easy to share on a variety of platforms.

N.B. Before you judge my Top 5, I am well aware I have the musical taste of a 60-year-old man.

People went nuts on social media sharing the data and stats that proved they were the biggest fan, or showed off how weird and unrelated their top five was. This made other users aware of the Wrapped feature, and it made more people sign in and dive into their own top five. Spotify’s shares jumped 16% yesterday. Sure some of that can be attributed to other factors, but a lot of that jump came from the popularity of the 2020 Wrapped feature and the brand awareness that came from it.

The Takeaways

What can we learn from Spotify’s 2020 Wrapped? First and foremost, that stories are going to continue being a major player in content creation for years to come. If you’re not making stories in addition to blogs, ebooks, etc., you’re falling behind.

But Spotify didn’t just show us we need to be making stories, they showed how to do it right. With witty, relatable copy. With sharp visuals that your user base will love. By using smart data points that users will want to share. And giving them the ability to easily share their custom story with their friends.

Someone made the joke the other day after Twitter added the ‘Fleets’ feature, that even the WordPress dashboard would start adding stories. It’s a funny joke, sure, but not far off. Stories are going to remain a big player in the world of content creation and social sharing. They’ve come a long way since Snapchat started using disappearing stories six long years ago, and I’m interested to see where creators can take stories in the new decade.