There are now memes on Spotify. Yes, Spotify.
Starting in the first week of August my Twitter feed became inundated by the account Weird Spotify Playlists, which posts screenshots of playlists where weird doesn’t even begin to cover it.
The account quickly gained half a million followers and posts a handful of bizarre playlists daily. The account crowdsources playlists in their dms and on the Weird Spotify Playlists subreddit, which has over 14,000 members. The Twitter is run by Matt who runs a handful of other Twitter meme pages like True, I Guess… and Weird Knock-Off Brands.
The Weird Spotify Playlist trend is the next phase of the playlist that dates back to the mix tape, as pointed out by Miles Klee of Mel Magazine. This phase rejects the classic idea of a playlist — the songs on the list aren’t exactly intended for listening. Instead these playlists make jokes that rely on the playlist title and song titles. They can even tell strange and unexpected stories through the titles.
My personal favorite is “You and Your Dog Named Timothee Chalamet Are At The Dog Park And No One’s Around.” It’s a creative and random theme for a playlist, but what is most impressive about it and the trend itself is that the playlist creators are able to pull off these themes with song titles. When I read the playlist title I thought there is no way the creator Existential Desk could create this narrative from song titles on Spotify, but sure enough there is a track called “Timothee Chalamet, Where Are You Going?”
Some trends on Weird Spotify Playlists include ingredient playlists and POV playlists.
The POV playlists make fun of the trendy, highly curated POV lists that go viral on TikTok, like “pov: you’re the main character” or “pov ur the hot ex.” Both playlists have over 30,000 likes on Spotify.
This trend is a response to Spotify becoming another performative social media platform for younger users. The app is more than just a music streaming platform — your friends can follow you and see what you’re listening to at all times.
And if your playlists are public, anyone who finds your profile can see them, so they’ve become another way to define yourself on the internet. On Instagram you post the best pictures of yourself that reflect your desired vibe and aesthetic, on Spotify you do the same thing, but with your playlists. You only feature the playlists you want people to think you listen to on your profile.
Not to mention Spotify’s analytics like Spotify Wrapped are designed to be shared on other social media platforms. Spotify even has its own influencers.
Rather than creating cool playlists, these users are subverting the norm and making fun of the idea of a playlist. They take advantage of the wealth of music on Spotify and the social media aspects of the platform and use playlists to create memes.