‘Spotify Wrapped’ Reveals Student and Faculty Listening Habits, Personality Traits

Illustration of Blue, orange, and white shapes with a music icon in the middle

(Illustration by Emily Faith Morgan, University Communications)

December 16, 2022

The beginning of December is a momentous time of the year, and not just because the holidays are right around the corner. On Dec. 1, Spotify released its annual “Spotify Wrapped” campaign, a highly anticipated tradition among Spotify users. 

The app sends various statistics to its streamers, including a summary of the user’s listening habits from the year. The goal of the campaign is to celebrate the personalization of music, demonstrated by the endless variations of artists, genres and podcasts that users gravitate to during the year. The reports always lead to a frenzy of social media posts.

“Spotify Wrapped gives me something to look forward to every holiday season – it’s like opening another gift,” University of Virginia first-year student Reem Aziz said. “It’s also cool to see how you’ve either changed or stayed the same compared to past years.” 

Aziz’s Spotify Wrapped report revealed her top artists were Taylor Swift, Mitski, Lana Del Rey, Clairo and Phoebe Bridgers. Aziz said some of her listening habits were unexpected. 

“I was surprised to see that Beach House wasn’t one of my top artists,” she said. “I also thought it was interesting that Taylor Swift was my top artist, but none of her songs were in my top five [most listened songs].” 

Aziz’s Spotify Wrapped report also revealed a little about her musical tastes. 

“I think my artist results show that I listen to a lot of music within the same genre, and I primarily listen to female artists,” Aziz said. 

The newest feature of Spotify Wrapped is the “Listening Personality” report, which adopts similar testing procedures to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a popular online personality test. 

The Listening Personality is based on four metrics: familiarity versus exploration; loyalty versus variety; timelessness versus newness; and commonality versus uniqueness. Each combination of these traits reveals a personality trait associated with a user’s listening habits. 

Left Reem Aziz headshot.  Right her spotify wrap up
First-year student Reem Aziz's Spotify Wrapped was dominated by female artists, revealing a trend in her listening habits. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

Second-year student Caden Shortridge received “The Adventurer” as his listening personality, as he values exploration, newness, variety and uniqueness in his search for new tunes. 

As an experimental and exploratory listener, Shortridge tends to use the Spotify app to find new music from varying genres. 

According to his Spotify Wrapped report, Shortridge’s top music genre for the year was indie pop, with top artists such as Beach House, Duster and COIN – results that did not surprise Shortridge in the slightest. 

“I think my taste is unique because I don’t know many other people who listen to Dreampop or Shoegaze as much as I do,” the philosophy and linguistics major said. “I love finding new bands and artists, and I make it my mission to listen to music I’ve never heard of before.” 

Left Shortridge headshot.  Right his spotify wrap up
The wide range of genres in second-year philosophy and linguistics major Caden Shortridge's Spotify Wrapped did not surprise him, as he uses Spotify to explore new music. (Contributed photo)

As a women’s varsity lacrosse player, fifth-year graduate student Courtlynne Caskin uses her Spotify account to discover new music to listen to as a way to hype herself up. 

“I definitely use music to pump myself up before games. Constantly,” the McIntire  School of Commerce student said. “I like listening to rap and punk rock to get me going before or during a workout.”

Her Spotify Wrapped results showed that Caskin listens to a wide range of genres, from country to rap and everything in between. Caskin’s top artists for 2022 were Morgan Wallen, Chelsea Cutler, Drake, Coldplay and Quinn XCII. 

“My top song results also reveal that I like listening to various genres for different occasions. I have a chill mode, a pumped-up mode, and a sing-along mode,” she said.

Left Courtlynne spotify wrap up. Right Courtlynne Caskin headshot.
Fifth-year varsity lacrosse player Courtlynne Caskin has music for every mood, from hype music to pump herself up before a workout to relaxing music to help her decompress. (Photo by Jeff White, UVA Athletics)

A.D. Carson, an assistant professor in the McIntire Department of Music, said his results reflected the time of day he tends to listen to music. His top artists were Ghostface Killah, Nipsey Hussle, Erykah Badu, Danger Mouse – and himself. 

“I listen to far more R&B and pop than I’d ever possibly feel comfortable admitting publicly,” the professor of hip hop and the global south said. “It’s also clear that the time that I’m listening to music most is before bed and while getting dressed.” 

Carson’s unique perspective as a professor of music and a musician himself skewed his results in a way that reflects his listening habits. 

“I’m sharing artists and songs I think my friends should listen to or playing reference songs in class for students,” Carson said. 

One part of Carson’s results that he did not expect were his podcast listening habits. 

“I listen to podcasts much more in the morning than I expected,” he said. 

Left Ad Carson spotify wrap up. Right Ad Carson headshot
Assistant Professor of Hip Hop and the Global South A.D. Carson's Spotify Wrapped revealed that he tends to listen to music and podcasts during his morning routine or when he is getting ready for bed. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

Check out your Spotify Wrapped results by logging into the Spotify app or launching it on a desktop.

Media Contact

Mike Mather

Managing Editor University Communications