How to Hack Your Spotify Wrapped (for That Coolness Factor)

It’s time to start curating your streaming for the one day of the year you’re allowed to brag about having such "unique" taste.

December truly is the most festive month of the year. But for chronically online music lovers, Christmas and New Year’s are not the only December holidays that call for celebration. 

At the end of each year, audio streaming service Spotify gives its users a personalized summary of their listening activity through its Wrapped feature. This includes a list of the top artists, songs, music genres, and podcasts that users have listened to throughout the year (the things they want us to share on social media).

In 2021, Spotify data curators even added a new feature: the users’ audio aura, in which they assigned particular colors to ‘mood’ categories like “happy,” “calm,” and “hopeful.” It’s classic marketing wrapped—pun intended—in tasteful introspection. 

But how do you make sure you’re posting the most FOMO-inducing Wrapped content on your socials? Here’s what you need to know:

1. Only those who have listened to at least 30 songs by five different artists are eligible for Wrapped. 

Yup, Spotify says you need to showcase that range. But this should be easy; just find a playlist of songs you love and let it accompany you while cleaning or driving, and you should be good to go. Who doesn’t love a good carpool karaoke anyway?


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2. Streams are only tracked when you listen to a track for at least 30 seconds. 

No, you can’t just listen to that 15-second part of that song that went viral on Tiktok. You have to at least feel the sheer disappointment of finding out it’s not actually a ‘bop’ just like the rest of us. 

3. Music listened to incognito isn't counted, but... 

Although songs listened to while on Spotify’s own version of incognito mode do not count, they will still be added to the individual “total minutes listened” statistic. By all means, do not let it stop you from secretly streaming those ASMR boyfriend podcasts. We don’t yuck on other people’s yum here. 

4| Offline streams are considered too. 

The lists are made by consolidating the number of streams with the number of days each song was played. So this can make a significant difference if you’re the type to download songs and play them sans an internet connection. But ease that pretty little mind (and that last song syndrome thing), because offline streams are eventually counted once users go online.  


5. Spotify collects data from January 1 to October 31. 

However, the cut-off date can also extend to the first few weeks of November in order to give the company ample time for data analysis and strategy building for the advertising campaign. This is also why albums released later in the year have reduced chances of making it to the overall ranks. So brace yourselves, Swifties, with Midnights releasing on the 21st of October, it sounds like the work is cut out for you. 

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All cheeky comments aside, listening to music is typically a very personal thing, which is why we frequently hear people equating it to therapy.

The downhearted cope by crying to Moira, Mitski, or Taylor Swift. Those disgustingly in-love blasts Ben and Ben or Bruno Major. Some play Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey in the shower. Others turn to Beyonce or Lizzo for confidence.

The point is, Wrapped gives an avenue for reflection on the past eleven months. It holds a mirror to our personality and the recent circumstances that have shaped it—a literal soundtrack of our life. So to share it with the world or not is our prerogative, but there’s catharsis to be found in reminiscing. 

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Kimberly John Bautista
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