2015 Year in Music

At the beginning of each year, Spotify refreshes its “Year in Music,” where it ranks the top artists and albums of the year and also publishes interesting statistics, such as how many tracks and how much time we’ve listened to music this year. The content can be the sum of all Spotify users, but can also be customized specifically to the user him/herself. Below shows an example screenshot, where Spotify totals that the world listened to 21 million different artists in 2015.


Spotify 2015 Year in Music

On the website, the user can scroll through multiple panels, each of a different statistic. As the user browses through the website, different songs will play depending on the context. For example, on the Top Tracks panel, the song “Lean On” by Major Lazer plays, as it is the top track in 2015, according to Spotify.

Spotify publishes this content for its users to summarize global trends and also expose music habits and preferences the user him/herself may not know about. Overall, I think the statistics are very interesting, as they are very relatable, but I thought Spotify could have made it even better by having better visualization of these data. For example, a line chart could be drawn for the number of tracks we’ve listened to over years, instead of simply a line of text saying that we’ve listened to “167,493 more than last year.” Similarly, pie charts could be constructed comparing the top genres/artists across seasons, instead of separate panels with one-liners, “We loved Ellie Goulding, Wiz Khalifa, and Major Lazer this Spring” or “We finished the year strong with a lot of Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, and Drake.”

With these visual changes, I think Spotify can make its Year In Music incredibly relatable and interesting for its users, as they could explore their own taste but also compare it to the rest of the world’s.