Apple Music’s year-end roundup is a little better this year

Best of 2022 lists and end-of-year recaps are just around the corner, including Spotify Wrapped, the streaming platform’s flashy interactive feature that’s become an annual tradition that overtakes social media for a few solid days. Its main competitor, Apple Music, made some charts for listeners, too. and comes with some changes this time around.

Apple Music Replay is available for users beginning today, accessed via the platform’s website. It’s not the first time Apple Music has tried competing with Spotify’s roundup — it launched Replay in 2019 in the form of custom playlists — but, until now, hasn’t had a major update.

Apple Music Replay image features a listener's top album, Hold the Girl by Rina Sawayama.

The custom reel includes listener insights like top albums.
Image: Apple

This year’s redesigned Replay includes more data-heavy, shareable features, like a personalized highlight reel of top artists, songs, albums, genres, and total minutes listened. Fans in the top 100 of an artist or genre will be able to see their standing, and users can track how their listening habits change until December 31st.

Until now, Apple has essentially let Spotify dominate the year-end reviews for music streaming. In the past, Spotify Wrapped has included blended playlists between friends, interactive games, and “aura” visualizations of their music tastes. Charts showing top artists and genres are nearly inescapable online at the end of the year, and Spotify is already teasing This year’s Wrapped as users eagerly wait to see what data the platform has collected from them in 2022.

Apple Music Replay launched the same day as YouTube Music’s 2022 Recap feature, which is now available for listeners on the platform. The year-in-review feature has become a competitive way for companies to repackage user data into maximally shareable content that benefits both sides at least a little bit. Streaming platforms get a few days of free promotion, and listeners get to pretend people care about what music they like.

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