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For the Record’s 2020 ‘Year in Review’

December 17, 2020

2020 was an unprecedented and challenging year. It was also one that inspired curiosity and creativity—both of which were reflected in the songs and podcasts listeners streamed, the new ways creators connected with fans, and in the For the Record stories that resonated with readers the most. 

So we’re taking a look back on a year of For the Record to highlight the Spotify moments and stories that have meant the most to us—and you. 

This year, we…

Unveiled the pawfect playlist for you and your pet.

It’s hard to put into words the emotions pets give us—other than pure happiness. So it’s only natural that we want to make them feel good, too, and many pet owners believe they do exactly that with music. In a study on how pet owners use music with their pets, we found that 71% of pet owners play music for their pets, and that’s not all we learned. Check out the rest of the furry (read: fun) facts or make your very own Pet Playlist.

Connected listeners to each other and to creators with new app functionality like Group Session Beta and Video Podcasts.

After unveiling the Group Session Beta in May, we then took it one step further in July with brand-new functionality allowing Spotify Premium users around the world to tune into the same playlist or podcast simultaneously. So no matter the distance, you and the members of your squad can now each listen to the same content at the same time on your own devices—as well as control playback. Learn how

We also unveiled the first version of our new video podcast feature with select podcasts. Now listeners in all markets where podcasts are supported will be able to listen to or watch those podcasts as the feature rolls out, allowing select creators to bring both audio and video content to Spotify. You can now even watch video podcasts on select Android TV devices, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Nest Hub devices. 

Launched in Russia, Croatia, Ukraine, and 10 Other European markets.

Our latest expansion in Europe brought the total number of markets with Spotify to 92 and marked the embrace of streaming in the region. Now, listeners in Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Ukraine can enjoy a listening experience that includes 60 million tracks, 4 billion playlists, and localized music personalization features. Check out some of the features that listeners can look forward to.

Announced new audio content from popular storytellers.

In 2019, we announced our intention to be an Audio-First company. 2020 saw plenty of new podcast content to further deliver on that commitment. This summer, First Lady Michelle Obama joined the ranks of Spotify storytellers with The Michelle Obama Podcast from Higher Ground and Spotify. This fall, The Joe Rogan Experience became an exclusive Spotify podcast through a new partnership. Most recently, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced a partnership with Spotify through their new production company, Archewell Audio. With over 1.9 million (and growing) podcast titles, there’s something for everyone.

Stood with the Black community in the fight against racism and injustice.

On June 2, we used the power of our platform to stand with Black creators, amplify their voices, and accelerate meaningful conversation and long-needed change. We committed to supporting our employees, friends, partners, artists, and creators in the fight against racism, injustice, and inequity. Over this year and into the next, our support will continue to evolve, and we hope that our initial steps and actions will help push conversations forward, promote deeper allyship, and usher in positive and lasting changes.

Explained how to customize and share your Spotify profile and playlists.

You already know that the music and podcasts you listen to serve as an incredible reflection of your interests and tastes. But did you know that you can customize your Spotify profile to match? Whether you’re streaming from your desktop or mobile, now you can update everything from your photo to your username and create a personalized music page unique to you. Speaking of customization, we also enabled the ability to upload custom covers and descriptions to your homemade playlists using your phone, just in time for gift-giving season.

Wrapped it all up. 

This year’s Wrapped was unlike any other. Alongside our annual naming of the most-streamed artists, songs, albums, and podcasts of the year, we also unveiled 6 new features in the 2020 Wrapped user experience, as well as 3 tips and tricks giving listeners new ways to hear and share their results. We even announced what kids and families have been listening to on the Spotify Kids app. Finally, we gave Spotify: For the Record podcast fans a behind-the-scenes listen to the convo where Bad Bunny learned he was the top-streamed artist of the year. 

2020 held unique challenges, but through it all, Spotify was a source for entertainment, comfort, education, and community—and For the Record was here to document it. We can’t wait to see what 2021 brings. 

Want more behind-the-scenes moments and stories? Follow the Spotify: For the Record podcast.