DFW Music News

What We've Learned About Dallas Music Fans Thanks to Spotify

The Weeknd was No. 4 in North Texas' Spotify streams this year.
The Weeknd was No. 4 in North Texas' Spotify streams this year. Andrew Sherman
When it comes to streaming service subscriptions, there’s probably no app you use more than Spotify. Yes, we can all compete for how much programming from Netflix or Disney+ we consume, but, admit it, you're constantly launching your Spotify app. We're not here to judge, but that doesn’t mean that Spotify isn’t judging us. Now in its seventh year, Spotify has unveiled its annual “Wrapped” marketing campaign to reveal insights about our music personalities.

This year’s “Spotify Wrapped” includes all the standard consumer data that we’re sure any streaming network tracks. You can see who your top artists are, which songs you listened to the most, your preferred genres and any unique trends in your taste. One interesting feature composes a soundtrack of your top 100 songs, so you may find yourself looking back to your emotional state earlier in the year. What sort of crisis were you going through when you listened to “Road to Nowhere” 25 times in a row? Only you and old Spotify know.

As some social media users have noted, Spotify also tends to make some strange assumptions about listeners. What does it mean if it says you listened to “Tense Chill Love” in the morning? Isn’t that inherently contradictory? There’s also an issue for anyone who shares a family account; if you have any younger children or siblings, you might find “Baby Shark” within your top streaming songs, or the cast of Sesame Street within your top artists. It’s a judgment-free zone! Social media users have had fun parodying the trends, and screenshots flooded Twitter in the aftermath of the yearly unveiling.

This year, Bad Bunny topped the charts as the world’s most-streamed artist for the third year in a row, and his Grammy-nominated album Un Verano Sin Ti became Spotify’s biggest album of the year. The rest of worldwide top five consisted of the usual suspects: Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, BTS and Drake.

Drake topped the American audience list, which also controversially included Kanye West; this immediately drew both criticism and commentary as a result of his antisemitic campaigns over the last few months.

While the “Spotify Wrapped” campaign has certainly led to a lot of fun memes and conversations, it’s also been a somewhat controversial program, according to some tech experts. Evan Greer, director of the digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future, stated that “Spotify has done an amazing job of marketing surveillance as fun and getting people to not only participate in their own surveillance, but celebrate it.”

There are certainly some dangerous precedents that could be set as a result of everyone gleefully watching a streaming corporation monitor its users. How long before we start seeing Spotify increase its native advertising? Nonetheless, Texas musicians and fans certainly had a lot to talk about. Here are some of our observations about what “Spotify Wrapped” said about this year in music.

Dallas Was as Big on Bad Bunny as Everyone Else

We certainly can’t criticize anyone else about being obsessed with the Puerto Rican megastar, because he topped Dallas’ most-streamed artists, with both “Me Porto Bonito” and “Tití Me Preguntó” cracking the top five songs. Dallas was all in on Bad Bunny in every way this year; he had a sold-out concert at AT&T Stadium in September, and Dallas theaters AMC Northpark and Cinemark Webb Chapel held IMAX screenings of the action film Bullet Train, which marked Bad Bunny’s acting debut.

Harry Styles Can Get Over His Breakup, Because Dallas Fans Loved “As It Was”

Harry Styles dominated headlines this year thanks to the continuing controversy over Don’t Worry, Darling and his romance with director Olivia Wilde, and his Dallas fanbase was active as ever. In May, fans lined up around several downtown blocks to buy merch at his Harry's House pop-up. “As It Was” was number one on Dallas’ top five songs list, with Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves” and Kodak Black’s “Super Gremlin” kicking around up there too.

It Was A Great Year For Dallas’ Rap Scene, And We Have Evidence!

According to Spotify, rap was the genre that Dallas listeners played the most. It was a particularly popular year for Dallas rappers, including Bobby Sessions and T.Y.E.

Dallas Stranger Things Fans Made An Impact on the Global Charts

In case you haven’t noticed, Dallas has one of the most active Stranger Things fan communities in the world, and they left a dent on the worldwide charts. Following its popular appearance in Season 4, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)” topped the year’s list of the most popular songs over 20 years old.

A Texas Favorite Continues To Be The Biggest Podcast
The Joe Rogan Experience continues to be the world’s biggest podcast, and he’s only spiked in popularity thanks to his Texas move. While Rogan currently resides in Austin, he makes frequent trips to Dallas, including an appearance this summer at the Majestic Theater.

Dallas’ Biggest Blowhard Was Nowhere To Be Found

Alex Jones, also known as the biggest idiot in Dallas’ history, was absent from Spotify’s yearly wrap-ups. Spotify chose to remove his programming from the platform altogether in February, following his endlessly repeated conspiracy theories.

Dallas Is Hosting One of the World’s Biggest Artists Next Year

Taylor Swift returned to both Spotify’s worldwide charts and the Dallas charts. She was the third-most-streamed artist by North Texans this years. Her fans can see Taylor at AT&T Stadium in the spring.

We Helped The Weeknd Jump Up in the Charts

The Weeknd, DFW's fourth-favorite artist, had one of the biggest years of his career thanks to his new HBO series The Idol, his “Out of Time” remix and the ever-popular album Dawn FM. He also happened to be in Dallas in August as part of the After Hours Til Dawn Tour. Coincidence? We don’t think so.

Coldplay Is More Popular Than Ever, and They Just So Happen to Have a Dallas Connection

Coldplay’s Parachutes appeared on the list of most-streamed throwback albums, but they piqued our interest with a cool Dallas shoutout.

A Spotify Favorite Has a Major Dallas Connection

Some of the most popular playlists in the U.S. were part of the soundtrack for the recently released Marvel television program The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which features an enjoyable appearance by the Old 97's.
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Liam Gaughan has been covering film and television since before he had a driver's license, and in addition to the Observer has been published in About.com, Schmoes Know, Taste of Cinema and The Dallas Morning News. He enjoys checking classic films off of his watchlist and working on spec scripts.

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