Starting today, the Spotify Wrapped 2022 is coming to your phone, swathed in fluorescent colors and geometric patterns, so you can discover what song you played 5,581 times when Stephanie left you and how many times you listened to George Michael’s “Last Christmas” before December (that’s 17, thanks). It also comes with a new feature called Your Listening Personality that should be interesting to see when it inevitably floods every social media stream.
What is a listening personality, exactly? According to the company, it’s a “new, playful feature that not only tells you about the music you listen to but what that says about your music taste.”
Your lucky numbers are . . .
The idea for Your Listening Personality was essentially born of people’s enduring fascination with ascribing personality traits to every aspect of their life. It’s a riff on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, which assigns people a four-letter personality type code after they complete a 90-plus question test. According to Babar Zafar, Spotify’s VP of product and growth, the feature was created by the Wrapped team “because personality types are a very popular trend in the world right now.”
I wanted to believe that Spotify used some awesome adversarial neural network running a model trained on your listening history combined with your favorite Netflix shows, the type of socks you buy on Amazon, and your Grubhub orders. But alas, Taj Alavi—VP, global head of marketing at Spotify—told me in an email that the letters are assigned to you depending on your Spotify history. It judges your tendency to discover new music, which assigns “E” for “exploration” or “F” for “familiarity,” as well as “newness” versus “timelessness” (the average age of tracks you listen to), “variety” versus “loyalty” (the variety of artists you listen to), and “commonality” versus “uniqueness.”
From there you get one of the 16 personalties, which appear via rolling icons designed to look like a slot machine. There’s the Replayer (“You’re a comfort listener. You stick with the songs you like. By the artists you like from whenever and wherever. Why rock the boat?”) and the Adventurer (“You’re a seeker of sound. You venture out into the unknown. searching for fresher artists, deeper cuts, newer tracks—especially gems yet to be found”), plus 14 others.
Basically, these are musical zodiac signs. Chances are good that soon millions of people will start identifying as ENVUs, FTLUs, or any of the other acronyms that sound like IKEA furniture names. This musical zodiac identity “will be shareable in your Bitmoji’s apparel and custom GIFs across all GIPHY partners.”
Beyond personality types, Wrapped is rolling out another interesting new feature called Audio Day, which is “an interactive story that gives you a peek into how your music taste evolves throughout the day.” The feature does exactly that: summarizes your daily path, as you go from morning power songs to late night revelations.
They are also bringing back fan favorites like Your Artist Messages, which the company claims was a hit in 2021. This year they will go from 100 artists to 40,000, which is pretty mind blowing, including Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and others. Spotify says that fans will get a customized video feed with thank you messages from some of their most played artists. Like these:
I just hope they got The Cure to agree to do this, too:
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