Every year, Spotify Wrapped provides premium account holders with data about their listening habits. What began as a year in review marketing campaign in 2013 has evolved into a highly anticipated tradition that provides social media and group chats with uniquely intimate streaming data.
The standard Wrapped lists users’ top artists and songs, but other features vary by year. This year, the streaming company assigned people cities based on how their “listening and shared artist affinity” compares to residents of said city, according to a spokesperson for the company. The feature is called “Sound Town.”
With “Sound Town,” users are able to relate to each other and analyze their similarities in a way that goes beyond hard data. In this way, the results are similar to that of a personality quiz — technically based on numbers, but not prescriptive.
Psychology professor Jennifer V. Fayard wrote in Psychology Today that personality quizzes, even the silliest ones, can help understand the more nuanced aspects of our personalities and the personalities of others. According to Vox, personality quizzes play into humans’ “tribalist impulses.” We want to be sorted into groups.
Your Spotify Wrapped saying your taste is similar to residents of Berkeley, Calif., might not mean anything — but it’s fun to sort our friends and discuss what our assignments mean to us.
On X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, users noticed a high concentration of people posting about receiving “Burlington, Vermont” as their Sound Town.
Burlington is the biggest city in Vermont. It’s home to the University of Vermont, and is known for its proximity to the mountains and Lake Champlain. According to Spotify’s Sound Town feature, residents are more likely to be fans of artists like the Grateful Dead, Big Thief and Noah Kahan. Kahan, a 26-year-old Vermonter, brought the state to the “precipice of culture” this year, as Vox internet culture reporter Rebecca Jennings wrote in October.
As someone who grew up there, Jennings wrote that it feels “bizarre … when something from Vermont that isn’t the foliage goes viral.”
There’s a chance that there’s not a disproportionate amount of people receiving Burlington as a result, either. There could be a correlation between the town’s listening habits and those of the people who might pay close attention to their Spotify Wrapped. A few viral posts about Burlington could have encouraged an increased number of people to chime in with their similar results than those who received other towns, as well.
Just don’t get Burlington confused with Bennington, Vt., where the woman behind the Christian Girl Autumn meme makes her annual fall photo pilgrimage.
Spotify has not provided a list of Sound Town options, nor has the company explained the significance of its selections. Bea Forman, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, pointed out that the cities all seem to be college towns.
Other popular Wrapped cities in the U.S. include Berkeley, Calif.; Cambridge, Mass.; Bozeman, Mont.; Provo, Utah; Davis, Calif.; New York City; San Francisco; Madison, Wis.; Eugene, Ore.; and Ann Arbor, Mich. Internationally, users have mentioned Woolwich, U.K.; Gaborone, Botswana; San Luis, Argentina; Chennai, India; and Abuja, Nigeria.
does she…you know…have spotify listening habits in common with berkeley, burlington, or cambridge?
— abby monteil (@abbyemonteil) November 29, 2023
Some Wrapped recipients have speculated about what their Sound Town assignments mean, but until Spotify reveals its sorting criteria, it’s all just conjecture. Perhaps it could pique people’s curiosity to a point that Burlington, Vt., sees a spike in tourism in 2024.
leaving my family and starting a new life in burlington vermont because spotify said I listened to yo la tengo too much
— cinnamon bun (@notsofiacoppola) November 29, 2023
In addition to personalized Wrapped reports, Spotify announced the most-streamed artists and songs of 2023. For the full list, check out the company’s official blog.
Most-streamed artists globally
Most-streamed songs globally
“Flowers” by Miley Cyrus
“Kill Bill” by SZA
“As It Was” by Harry Styles
“Seven (feat. Latto)” by Jung Kook
“Ella Baila Sola” by Eslabon Armado, Peso Pluma
“Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift
“Creepin’ (with The Weeknd and 21 Savage)” by Metro Boomin, The Weeknd, 21 Savage
“Calm Down (with Selena Gomez)” by Rema, Selena Gomez
“Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53” by Bizarrap, Shakira
“Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift
In The Know by Yahoo is now available on Apple News — follow us here!
More from In The Know: