At the end of each year I always look forward to my yearly music stats. I did a post back in 2018 with my Spotify Wrapped statistics, and Brandi and I did a podcast episode on our 2019 music stats. This year is a bit wonky since I used several different music services, but the most relevant metrics I got were from my 2020 Replay from Apple Music. Apple gives a few metrics after getting some flack for historically not providing anything like what Spotify does, but what they did share is at least interesting and worthy of comparison to previous years.
Along with the metrics, Apple also provides a 2020 Replay playlist with the most played tracks for each user. Feel free to check out mine!
According to Apple, in 2020 I spent 962 hours listening to music, or over 40 days. For the sake of comparison, in my 2018 Spotify Wrapped I listened to 845 hours of music. This is especially impressive to me when considering that I didn’t use Apple Music for the entire year. I started using Apple Music in early 2020 shortly after I switched to an iPhone; prior to that I was still using Spotify for about a month. I also spent about 2 months trying out Amazon Music before switching back to Apple Music. Similarly, I spent a good bit of time listening to music I purchased during Bandcamp’s specials where all of the money went to the artists.
While I listened to far less music in 2020 while driving simply because I didn’t really drive anywhere during the pandemic, I listened to much more music while working since I never had to account for anyone else being around given that I now work from home full time. If I wasn’t in a meeting or on a call, there’s a good chance that I had some music playing while I worked.
I listened to 2,217 different artists. Suffice to say, I did a good bit of music discovery. A lot of that came from things like my personalized playlists from Apple and Apple’s curated, new music playlists in the genres I like. Plenty of it happened naturally as I would frequently go to the indie section each week, for example, and just listen to every new release that seemed interesting. While the albums sometimes wouldn’t appeal to me, on the whole it was a terrific way to find tons of new artists I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.
Many of my top artists had new album releases that I played endlessly, as we’ll see in the next section.
- Grimes – 14 hours
- Dua Lipa – 9 hours
- Jinka – 8 hours
- Allie X – 8 hours
- Soccer Mommy – 7 hours
- HAIM – 6 hours
- Vita and the Woolf – 6 hours
- Ashnikko – 6 hours
- phem – 6 hours
- Dounia – 5 hours
From this list, I want to give the nod to phem for absolutely crushing it in 2020 with new releases. From her cover of Creep to her releases of Self Control and stfu, she was easily one of my favorite artists of the year.
I listened to 310 different albums in 2020. The metrics for the individual albums are a little weird as Apple doesn’t really highlight what they mean when they count the number of times I’ve “played” an album. I think they’re counting playing a track from that album as a play of the album, regardless of whether I’ve played it from the album directly or when the song was added to a playlist. Many of the albums on the list did receive the “we’re just going to play this on loop for the entire day” treatment, though.
- Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa – 127 plays
- No Anything Else – Jinka – 108 plays
- Anna Ohio – Vita and the Woolf – 75 plays
- color theory – Soccer Mommy – 63 plays
- Petals for Armor – Hayley Williams – 58 plays
- folklore – Taylor Swift – 51 plays
- Miss Anthropocene (Deluxe Edition) – Grimes – 50 plays
- Bad Ideas – Tessa Violet – 48 plays
- Cape God – Allie X – 46 plays
- SAWAYAMA – Rina Sawayama – 44 plays
2020 saw a ton of great album releases. While many of them I had been eagerly anticipating, No Anything Else by Jinka completely caught me off guard and was easily one of my favorites. It was an album I stumbled upon while just listening to anything new in the Apple Music indie section, and it almost immediately became one of my favorites that I played on loop for days. Literally every song on it is phenomenal, though QT3.14 and I’d Like That emerged as my absolute favorites.
While 2020 was an awful year in plenty of regards, we had a ton of amazing new music from talented artists to help us get through it… even while many of the artists creating it suffered since they weren’t able to go on tour, do shows, and sell merchandise. While I imagine that trend will continue for at least the first half of 2021 (at least in the United States, where I am), I’m excited for finally being able to see live shows again and going out of my way to support all of the artists who helped us so much. Here’s to more incredible music in 2021. If I stick with one product the entire year, I think I can easily eclipse 1000 hours of time listened!