I'm in the top 1% of Spotify Wrapped – here's how I made it

There's no time to chat with colleagues at lunch, I grab my headphones and download a podcast to break into the upper echelons

American rockers Metallica, whose hit Enter Sandman was this writer's top song on Spotify. Getty Images
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It's everyone's favourite time of the year again ... not Cop, not Union Day and not even Christmas. It's the release of Spotify's Wrapped, of course, and my time to gloat.

At last, I am part of the one per cent – not that one. Instead, I am in the upper echelons of the music platform’s global listeners, having racked up 114,619 minutes since January 1.

That’s 79 days non-stop, and the platform typically only counts data until October 31 as part of its annual statistical dump. It reveals a listener's use for the year, which is then paraded across social feeds – or kept hidden, along with a secret obsession for the Jonas Brothers.

It puts me ahead of 99 per cent of Spotify’s 574 million monthly users.

Want to know how I got there? Listen up.

Music is at the very centre of my life. Get a real life, I hear you grumble (course I do, I hear everything). Look after your children? None yet. Make friends on social media? Behave.

The only internet profiles my wife has to worry about me endlessly scrolling through are those of Peruvian pipe bands or obscure Finnish flautists. Even the stern looks when I accidentally call her Alexa have died down, and I’m free to carry on barking orders at the Amazon speaker to: “Turn it up!”

Forget putting in hard yards, it's just easy listening for 1,910 hours all the way to the top. More stats include 5,699 songs played; 2,753 artists listened to; 139 genres covered; and 146 plays of my top song (Metallica's Enter Sandman).

I've spent 2,118 minutes listening to Queens of the Stone Age putting me in the 0.5 per cent of their fans (I’m free for drumming auditions Josh Homme, call me).

It’s not only songs, though. Spotify says I’ve ploughed through 55,654 minutes (or 927 hours, 38 straight days) of podcasts. Three of the top five shows are on stocks, bonds and trading – though one look at my investment accounts suggests nothing is actually sinking in.

Wherever I go I have Airpods, they’re practically wired into my eardrums. At the gym, they’re in. Out for a walk, in. In bed, they're cranked to full to drown out the wife’s snoring.

When I can’t wear them, I have the Alexa on rotation. Head bopping in the shower, in the kitchen furiously chopping carrots to the rhythm of samba or at the laptop nonchalantly typing away.

I still pay my monthly subscription in the UK (it’s £10.99, or Dh46). And it’s worth every penny. Yes I know I need to swap to the UAE’s subscription, which is less than half price, and save a tidy sum. But those are precious minutes I could have been scrolling through Travis Scott’s setlist in preparation for his Abu Dhabi show or Foo Fighters at the city’s Formula One Grand Prix.

I can't join colleagues for a casual chat at lunch when there are podcasts – and minutes – to devour. Forget ChatGPT, the only artificial intelligence I want to be friends with is Spotify’s AI DJ, which I resort to when I’m driving.

It has dished out excellent suggestions over the year, expanding the number of artists in my repertoire and, ultimately, helping me cling to my position in the top percentile.

Wrapped brands me a “shapeshifter”, meaning as soon as I listen to one artist I’m onto the next. Some say it’s eclectic, some say it’s erratic. But I'm not listening, I’m over in Angola grooving to an a capella quartet.

Same time next year?

Updated: November 30, 2023, 2:58 PM