Bad Idea: Year WrapsAn algorithmic celebration of your most depressing digital data.

Bad Idea: Year WrapsAn algorithmic celebration of your most depressing digital data.

Issue 42

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Arts & Culture

  • Words Ed Cumming
  • Photograph Max Cavallari

Blame Spotify. If you are one of its 355 million users, then you will likely know about the end-of-year “Wrapped” roundup. Each December, a jaunty video tells you which songs and artists you listened to most in the preceding 12 months. There’s no hiding from the data. In your mind, you were listening to trap and experimental techno. In reality, you were listening to adult standards and help-me-sleep whale sounds.  Still, if you want to advertise to the world that you are in the global top 1% of Phish fans, this list is your chance. 

It’s a neat idea, for Spotify. The problem is that anything that works in tech is immediately adopted by other companies. And what works for music does not work for every customer relationship. I like to order takeout as much as the next man, but ...

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