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Replay: Why Apple’s Version of Spotify Wrapped Misses the Mark so Badly

This year’s Apple Replay looks much better than before but it is miles away from rivalling Spotify Wrapped.

Apple vs Spotify is a never-ending debate. Image Credit: nikkimeel/Shutterstock.com

It’s now December, and as one netizen declares, it is the only time of the year when Apple music users wish they had Spotify. With the release of Spotify Wrapped 2022, a yearly overview of a person’s musical tastes, the internet is in a frenzy.

People’s Instagram stories are filled with aesthetic collage-style templates of their most listened songs, artists, and genres. What’s noticeably missing from among these is the Apple Replay 2022 layouts. Apple listeners are almost banned from social media, even after the new Replay design. In theory, they offer the same function (a yearly round-up), but their execution differs. So, how do they compare?

Shareability

The main point of this rewind is to get a comprehensive overview of what a musical year has looked like. Spotify’s design works better because it condenses a large amount of information into a single well-designed palette, such as a personal festival lineup sheet or receipts. Both include ten or more songs in a creative layout. Apple sticks to its simple design, but it doesn’t work here because of its lack of optimization. It is hard to screenshot the information provided. Users can either include their top album or a part of their top 10, depending on their screen size. Despite what they choose, one can’t help but think that it resembles any other playlist, not a special one.

Personality

Apple Replay is to Excel what Spotify Wrapped is to Powerpoint. Apple Music chooses minimalism and uses pastel and muted colors to represent its data. On the other hand, Spotify uses bright, bold colors and a variety of non-music lenses to represent its data. Their understanding of how to tap into certain phenomenons like Astrology to generate musical personality charts makes Wrapped relevant. We look at these reviews as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves. Spotify analyses the data creatively, but Apple just presents it.

Concept

Apple captions the Replay playlist as ‘Your favorite tracks of the year-all in one playlist, updated weekly’. So unlike Spotify, Replay can be accessed annually, which becomes a redeeming feature. While some might feel that it ruins the suspense, not everything is revealed beforehand, and users are still waiting to be told who their favorite artist, album, or genre is till the year-end. Apple presents a personal Billboard Hot 100, a convenient place to go to for well-loved songs without having to search for them individually.

Different, for better or worse?

While Apple Music must improve its functionality and layout, its minimalism could be an asset. It wouldn’t align with Apple’s brand to use crowded patterns or be overly involved with their users. The point isn’t to copy Spotify; it is to modify what they already have and find ways of engaging more personally with their audience. This change needs to come soon because Mohammad Abu Talha, an Apple Music subscriber, says that the only reason he hasn’t left Apple Music is that he’s used it for so long. The service still has a dedicated fanbase but needs innovation to maintain itself as Spotify’s rival in the market.

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