Tech by VICE

Why Some Spotify Users Weren’t Impressed With This Year’s Year-End Stats

The lack of a dedicated website disappointed some users this year.

by David Bixenspan
Dec 16 2016, 12:00pm

The excellent band Sleater-Kinney performing in May 2015. Image: peta_azak/Flickr

Spotify's most devoted users have an occasion that they look forward to each and every year: The annual Year in Music stats, which boiled down a user's habits in numerical terms. The hardcore user base loved seeing everything broken down, and it really helped them understand the recommendations that Spotify made.

This year, instead of being web-based, the stats have been sent as an email, one that many users aren't getting because they turned emails notifications off and weren't made aware of the change in advance. Worse still, not only can they not get the stats by turning notifications back on, but those who got the emails are unhappy with the figures being less detailed than the web interface in past years was. A small fraction of the functionality is mirrored in users' 2016 playlists, but without any of the statistics.

Spotify did not return our request for comment on the record. Deezer, one of the competing music subscription services, did tell Motherboard that its users can pull detailed stats on demand, year-round, through their app. Called "Stateeztics," they include personal charts, "the soundtrack of your life," and more.

One Reddit user, McIgglyTuffMuffin, wrote a comment that summed up the frustration among the user base. "You know why this makes me mad? I've been a Spotify user since 2011," he explained, noting that in the previous two years he had been a paid subscriber. "I don't mean to feel entitled, but I'm going to feel entitled and say I should have gotten this. Email notifications on or no email notifications. It should have just been something they sent to everyone regardless." If they were married to having the feature tied to being on their email list, he felt it should have been explained in the email that opting in would be required in the future.

More than anything else, the disappointment appears to be centered around completely missing out on the stats without an opportunity to pull them up if you didn't get the email.

This isn't the only time that something like this happened in 2016.

In the winter, EA Sports did an online beta for the EA Sports UFC 2 video game that was tied into receiving promotional emails from the publisher. It was heavily plagued by issues with users not getting the relevant emails, as well as confusion about EA Sports' promotional email system and the site having multiple areas to sign up for emails, not all of which were recognized by the beta campaign.

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