The hidden story of Spotify Wrapped, a stroke of genius that makes us share our somewhat shameful top

The hidden story of Spotify Wrapped, a stroke of genius that makes us share our somewhat shameful top

Who took home top honors from your Spotify Wrapped this year? And why does it still do us a bit of good to share our rankings of lousy songs?

He almost became our expected little ritual at the beginning of December : when surging in our ears for the first time in twelve months All I want for Christmas is you and that you can now order mulled wine at the bar without fear of being judged, also arrives the now traditional Spotify wrapped.

Frantically posting our musical top of the year has become so common, source of memes and analysis of our vibe of the past year, and apologies in advance to all those who bet on Deezer or Apple Music. You probably feel on the sidelines, but think of those whose Spotify account has been hacked by their 2-year-old kid who swears only by the Ogres of Barback and you will say to yourself that ultimately, you are not missing out. thing.

What we know less, or that some have forgotten, is the origin of this success of Spotify, which has now become an end-of-year custom on the web. This is the story of a certain injustice recalled by the Twitter account musical struggles : “Spotify Wrapped was in the form of an email, but this former intern had the idea of ​​making it an interactive story; Spotify stole the idea from her without paying her for it. »

How Jewel Ham Revolutionized Spotify Wrapped (Without Reaping the Benefits)

The story of Jewel Ham, the famous and creative intern at Spotify, today recognized multidisciplinary artist and which we warmly recommend to admire the workshas not just been discovered.

On December 2, 2020, she spoke on Twitter to rehabilitate his role in the development of Spotify Wrapped. Supporting evidence, she showed the visuals she had conceptualized in 2019. “When I made the presentation at the end of my internship project, it was very well received. They really liked the idea. It was my last day”, she then told Refinery29.

Spotify has of course denied having exploited the Jewel Ham project, arguing that the Spotify Wrapped as we know it is the fruit of multiple contributions by many of its employees over the years. Still, Jewel Ham’s creative touch is quite recognizable. The artist had picked up what his generation wanted, what he was going to like to optimize the experience and make it more interactive and fun, and had put it forward in his presentation. It only remained for Spotify to apply it the following year.

Jewel Ham’s project, presented to Spotify

We must recognize one thing: if it had actually pumped the Jewel Ham project, the platform would not have done anything illegal. “At the end of the day, the problem isn’t that Spotify stole my idea. I gave it to them”summed up Jewel Ham bitterly. Idealistic, passionate and motivated young intern versus the streaming music giant, did she have a chance? The story finally highlights the fact that companies can so easily profit for free or at a lower cost from the creativity, the audacity and the talent of young and visionary creators.

Spotify Wrapped, or the fake gift of a streaming platform

Spotify Wrapped has therefore become this essential moment of web culture, whether we look at it with disdain or wait for it like Santa Claus. And speaking of Santa Claus, we must recognize that this gift that Spotify gives to its users is a formidable and brilliant marketing discovery which relies on our desire to stage ourselves and our ability to believe that we have very original tastes (when clearly you listen to exactly the same as everyone else).


Spotify describes me as an adventurer, but I listened to Beyoncé, Dua Lipa and Rosalia like almost all users of the platform, instead of exploring the discography of sharp and confidential groups and feeding myself on very nerds. In truth, we all find ourselves having to assume that we have listened 4517 times Last Dance of Kyo.

Let’s be clear: with our tops, our “flagship artist of the year” who we hadn’t necessarily seen reaching the top of the rankings, our dizzying tens of thousands of minutes of listening on the clock, Spotify makes a pretty advertisement on our backspushing us to share what thrilled us in 2022, and making Deezer and Apple Music users feel like they’re missing out (sorry again).

Why do annual recaps do us so much good? It reminds us that a year has just passed (and my god, it goes SO FAST) and that we are surely a little different from twelve months ago. Life has rolled over us, but it’s likely that a couple of not too bad things have happened to us. Taking stock is ultimately very healthy, it allows us to absorb the past year, to look at it with more or less serenity, and to hope that what awaits us should not be too bad.

Jewel Ham had clearly picked up the trick.

Read also :

Why ‘Only you’, Spotify’s new feature, is a little edgy

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