No industry has escaped the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic unscathed, but few have been hit as hard as the music industry.
That’s why this year, Spotify’s annual Wrapped campaign recognizes the resilience of people across the industry, from artists to sound tech folks working at now-shuttered venues. 2020 Wrapped is a story of grit and gratitude.
“We wanted to maintain the out of home creative [element] which people have come to know and love, while also showing our gratitude for the resilience of creators and the music industry at large, which has been hit hard this year,” said Dan Brill, global group creative director at Spotify, in an email.
To display that gratitude, Spotify teamed up with the National Independent Venue Association, which launched the #SaveOurStages initiative this year to raise support for shuttered venues. Spotify has taken over the marquees of music venues that are closed across the country to support the effort.
“This is our way of showing gratitude for the vital role music venues have played in artists’ lives, and through a donation, help the venues stay resilient until it’s safe to enjoy live music again,” Brill says.
Spotify is also creating a ‘global circle of gratitude’ on social media and out of home to combine images of artists and podcasters with thoughtful reflections on 2020. Spotify has also developed a series of fan films that hand the mic to listeners to thank their favorite artists. And it has invited influencers to curate playlists that reflect their 2020 experiences.
For Spotify, it’s not just the campaign that looks different this year—the listening habits changed too. Nostalgia and work-from-home themed playlists became popular over the course of the year, as well as health and wellness focused podcasts. Work-from-home playlists jumped 1,400%, and while many people were listening from home, a large number of them were listening on their gaming consoles, which saw a 55% increase in streaming.
“Instead of turning our backs on 2020, we wanted to give our appreciation for those who gave us hope—the people who, despite challenging circumstances, found ways to infuse magic into our world and give us hope for a better tomorrow,” Brill says.