The music industry has been hit especially hard by the pandemic this year, with strings of cancelled gigs, venues struggling to stay open and live performances having to adapt to the virtual world.
For 2020, Spotify’s flagship annual Wrapped campaign aims to honour this struggle, and “recognise and celebrate the human stories of the year”. From artists to podcasters, families to frontline workers, plus the playlist creators who’ve beavered away, this year Wrapped is all about gratitude and resilience, with a little bit of its trademark humour thrown in too.
“In a year that has taken on so many twists and turns, a first reaction might be to look forward and forget the challenging times. However, that would discount all of the amazing work that creators, fans, venues and activists have poured their hearts into this year,” says Dan Brill, global group creative director at Spotify.
“That’s why, instead of turning our backs on 2020, we wanted to give our appreciation for those who gave us hope – the people who, despite challenging circumstances, found ways to infuse magic into our world and give us hope for a better tomorrow.”
As well as the personal rundowns of most-listened tracks and stats that individual users can tap into, Spotify is splashing the campaign across social and outdoor advertising to find “beauty in the chaos” and say thank you to those who made it happen. The campaign’s visuals include a salute to Cardi B’s “invaluable wisdom and philosophies” for her track WAP with Megan Thee Stallion, as well as billboard placements in artists’ hometowns, like Glasgow where Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved was streamed over 706,000 times.
Other images reveal a deeper insight into our music and podcast listening habits this year with posters including a big acknowledgment to the 64m+ streams of Spotify’s Black Lives Matter playlist, a high-five to the 108% increase in listens to health and wellness podcasts and a giant nod to the 1,400%+ increase in the creation of WFH playlists.
The campaign continues on Spotify’s social channels with a “global circle of gratitude” that asks artists and creators to reflect on the year, as well as inviting influencers to curate playlists to reflect their own personal 2020. Spotify has also created a series of fan films that ask listeners to thank their favourite artists.
Spotify’s annual Wrapped campaign has become a signifier of the year coming to an end, but it also, especially this year, provides the opportunity to reflect and celebrate the positives from the last 12 months.