Spotify Wrapped Isn’t Just a Personalized Playlist. It’s an App Download Blitz
The end of the year typically means holiday shopping, overeating, and lately, it seems, sharing your personalized Spotify Wrapped playlist. But behind the music, there’s another, less obvious phenomena taking place, worldwide: With the marketing blitz surrounding Wrapped, Spotify is suddenly being downloaded at a remarkable clip.
Culled from data specific to each listener of the Stockholm-based streaming service, Spotify Wrapped is a personalized playlist of the songs each Spotify user has listened to most over the course of the year. The playlists, which launched several years ago and released this year on Dec. 5, also break down the listeners’ most played genres, artists, artists’ countries of origins, and podcasts. In addition, Spotify is also sharing a bonus ‘My Decade Wrapped’ playlist that pulls together listening records across the 2010s.
And people love sharing it. With built-in sharing abilities that let listeners post they Spotify Wrapped details to Instagram Stories (which are up for 24 hours before disappearing), Twitter, and directly to friends, the streaming service’s data has been littered around the web over the past week.
As a result, Spotify has prompted the app to be downloaded 2.3 million times globally in the three days after Spotify Wrapped was released, according to data from Sensor Tower, which tracks mobile downloads and revenue. That figure marks a 23% jump over the 1.9 million average downloads Spotify saw over the same three-day period in the three weeks preceding Dec. 5. Spotify declined to make a spokesperson available for this piece.
The surge pushed Spotify from being among the 20 most popular apps on Apple’s App Store charts before this year’s Wrapped playlists were unveiled to iOS’s sixth most popular download, after they came out. Spotify saw a similar spike on Google Play, though the app typically sees more fluctuation on the Android platform throughout the year. In addition, Spotify saw a bigger download boost this year than after Wrapped was rolled out in 2018, when it received 1.5 million global downloads in the three days following the playlists‘ release.
“When looking at it on a chart, it is quite a significant spike,” says Sensor Tower mobile insights strategist Katie Williams of Sensor Tower. “It spikes more around Christmas time and New Year’s, but this is still a big enough spike that when I look at this chart, I say to myself, ‘Is this Spotify’s second Christmas?'”
Part of Wrapped’s appeal is the FOMO—or fear of missing out—that non-users experience when they see others post their playlists online, especially as it’s proliferated across their social media feeds. And though people who download the app after seeing others’ Wrapped playlists won’t get one for 2019, Williams notes that it can make them curious and look forward to getting one next year.
Spotify is also spending money to make sure everyone is aware that it’s Spotify Wrapped season, taking out billboards and subways ads that often feature fun nuggets taken from data-mining their users’ listening habits—something that’s also raised privacy concerns in the past. Examples include the top user-made yodeling playlists of 2018 or celebrating Lin-Manuel Miranda listening to kids’ songs as part of “#DadLife.”
But regardless whether the Wrapped playlist features kids songs or an eclectic mix, the increased app downloads that accompany this viral tradition likely have Spotify singing a happy tune of its own.
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