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在点开某某云音乐的年度听歌报告之前,我的心里其实是有一些犹豫的:又来这一套,又收集了我的数据,又想搞一些俗套感动我。可是人这种生物总是对自己充满了好奇心……啊,还是管不住自己这手啊。选择翻译这篇,可能是因为作者和我一样,是一个纠结的人。为什么我们这么爱看年度报告?这些公司究竟收集了我们多少数据?「用隐私交换方便」是不是真的这么有诱惑力?她也想了很多。 —— 取经号周三组 (养生青年)







Why People Love Spotify’s Annual Wrap-Ups


Way back in June, my cousin and I joined the pilgrimage of people who came of age in the mid-aughts trekking to New York City to see the musical adaptation of Mean Girls on Broadway. Though we were definitely going ironically, I believe that familiarity with the material is crucial to appreciating any theatrical performance, so on our drive up, I cranked the campy, sugared soundtrack on repeat until our ears were ringing. We listened to it again on the way back, and again the next day, and then I was immensely sick of it.

早在6月,我和表妹参加了一群人的朝圣之旅,这些人都是2005年前后成年的,他们长途跋涉来到纽约百老汇,观看改编而成的音乐剧《贱女孩》(Mean Girls)。虽然我们肯定是抱着讽刺意味去的,但我相信熟悉素材对欣赏任何戏剧表演而言都是至关重要的,所以在我们驱车前行的路上,我反复播放了这段做作的、甜腻的配乐,直到我们的耳朵嗡嗡作响。我们在回去的路上又听了一遍,第二天又听了一遍,之后我就极度厌倦这首歌了。

mid-aughts  aughts refers to the first decade of a century, for example: 2000-2009 or 1900-1909. Mid-aughts in this sense refers to year around 2005.

campy  /ˈkæm.pi/ adjective a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture 坎普风的;矫揉造作的

And then, last week, I and more than 83 million other Spotify users were treated to this year’s release of the music-streaming service’s annual Wrapped tool, which provides users with an animated slideshow breakdown of their individual listening history for the year. For example, mine told me that I listened to “non-mainstream music 90 percent more than the average Spotify user.” That is, my most played album of 2018 was the Mean Girls soundtrack, streamed for a total of four hours.

上周,我和其他8300多万 Spotify 用户一样,查看了这家音乐流媒体服务公司发布的年度报告。用户通过动画式的可滑动页面,看到了自己一年来的个人收听历史数据。例如,我的报告告诉我,我听的“非主流音乐比 Spotify 的平均用户多90%”。那是因为,2018年我播放次数最多的专辑是《贱女孩》原声带,总共播放了四个小时。

breakdown  detailed information that you get by studying a set of figures 

People love Spotify Wrapped. We love the stories that the thousands of hours of music we listened to this year tell about us. We love the embarrassing revelation of a guilty pleasure, or the reinforcement of a cultivated musical identity when the bands at the top of the list match the T-shirt collection in our drawers. If you use social media, you’ve almost certainly seen people you know posting screencapped portions of their Wrapped results alongside some highly enthused observation: Their top five artists “so perfectly encapsulated” them. Their data were thrown out of whack after they fell asleep one too many times listening to artists with names like White Noise for Baby Sleep. A friend texted me that “seeing top songs on Spotify Wrapped is like seeing an old best friend that you lost touch with.”

人们喜欢 Spotify 的年度听歌报告。我们喜欢由今年听了几千小时的音乐讲述的关于我们的故事。我们喜欢看到那些令人羞耻的罪恶快感被展现在眼前,当听歌排行榜榜首的乐队与我们抽屉里的系列T恤相配时,我们喜欢所凸显的资深乐迷身份。如果你使用社交媒体,几乎肯定会看到你认识的人上传他们的年度报告截图和一些高度热情的观察:他们爱听的前五位艺术家“如此完美地概括”了他们。他们的数据被打乱了,因为他们听了太多次“婴儿睡眠的白噪音”诸如此类艺术家的歌,然后就睡着了。一位朋友发短信给我说,“在 Spotify 上看到自己的听歌排行榜,就像是看到了失去联系的老朋友。”

out of whack  If something is out of whack, it is not working properly, often because its natural balance has been upset. 不正常; 有毛病; 紊乱

It’s apropos, then, that Spotify added an astrological component to this year’s Wrapped, telling some which astrological signs they listened to most this year. (A recurring combination was Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez, both Cancers.) The way Spotify touts the arrival of Wrapped results—“Find out everything there is to know about how you listened in 2018!”—is like stepping into a psychic’s parlor. We all want to know ourselves, and Spotify promises us an organized dredge of tea leaves, our true selves represented cleanly by the five songs we never even realized we listened to that much, each brightly colored slide a portrait of a complete and unique person—“because,” as the feature’s introduction reads, “no one else listened exactly like you.” Users read so much meaning into their results that Spotify’s Twitter support account has been inundated with angry replies from people convinced that their 2018 chart-toppers were incorrect or unfair.

Spotify 在今年的听歌报告中适时地加入了星座元素,告诉一些人今年他们最常听的星座。(反复出现的组合是阿里安娜·格兰和赛琳娜·戈麦斯,两人都是巨蟹座。) Spotify 宣告年度听歌报告出炉的文案是——“了解你2018年听歌的所有信息!”——听上去就像走进了灵媒的客厅一样。我们都想了解自己, Spotify 答应让我们看到井井有条的茶叶渣子*,五首歌就明白地代表了真实的自我,即使这些歌我们自己都没意识到听了那么多遍。色彩鲜艳的每一页都描绘了一个完整而独一无二的人,正如该功能的介绍——“因为没有人的听歌品味和你一模一样”。用户们从他们的结果中读出了太多的意义,以至于 Spotify 的 Twitter 帮助账户被愤怒的回复淹没,这些用户表示自己2018年的听歌排名不正确或有失公平。

apropos  /ˏæprəˈpəu/ adj (in a way that is) appropriate or relevant to what is being said or done (与正在说的或做的)适宜或有关, 恰好, 及时


Spotify Wrapped is a masterful coup of free advertising and an impressive display of consumer trust at a moment when our faith in tech companies is historically low. After all, to assemble your end-of-year hits playlist, the platform requires detailed information about everything you do and everything you hear when you use a platform many of us spend more time inside than any other. In 2016, the average Spotify user listened to roughly 2.5 hours of audio a day. That’s a colossal amount of data. In a year when other tech giants were taken to task by the government, the market, and the public for their privacy practices, it’s hard to imagine anyone would respond with such enthusiasm if Facebook, Twitter, or Google started sending out annual summaries of everything they’ve got on us.

Spotify 年度听歌报告是免费广告的一次妙举,在我们对科技公司的信心处于历史最低点的时候,它展示出的消费者的信任令人惊叹。毕竟,要整合你的年终热门歌曲列表,这个平台需要知道你使用时所做的每件事以及听到的每首歌的详细信息,很多人花费在这上面的时间要比其他应用多得多。2016年, Spotify 用户平均每天听音乐的时间约为2.5小时。这是一个极其庞大的数据量。在这一年,当其他科技巨头被政府、市场和公众指责其侵犯隐私的时候,很难想象如果 Facebook 、 Twitter 或谷歌开始每年发布关于我们所有信息的总结,有谁会做出如此热情的回应。

coup  /kuː/ n A brilliantly executed stratagem; a masterstroke. 机敏的策略;妙举

That’s largely because Spotify feels different. Aside from some disputes over royalties that haven’t significantly hindered the company’s growth, Spotify is outwardly tame. The platform doesn’t have a comments section, and it got rid of messaging in 2017. Aside from a few second-order connectivity features—namely, the ability to stream and add to other users’ playlists and see what your friends are currently listening to—Spotify is a solitary experience, not a social network. Its personalized machine-curated playlists are a much-loved feature. And as personal as it is, music is less private than a chat history or cache of photos.

这在很大程度上是因为 Spotify 给用户的感觉不同。除了围绕版税的一些争议(它们并没有明显阻碍 Spotify 的增长)之外, Spotify 在表面上是温和的。该平台没有评论区,在2017年取消了即时通讯功能。除了一些二级连接功能外(在线播放其他用户的歌单、向其中添加歌曲,以及查看您的朋友当前正在收听的内容), Spotify 是个人的体验,而非社交网络。在机器学习的帮助下,它的个性化推荐歌单是一个深受喜爱的功能。尽管音乐是私人的,但它没有聊天记录或照片缓存那么私密。

“The average music listener often uses music as a sort of aural wallpaper,” says Robert Prey, a media-studies professor at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands. “It’s in the background and it’s not that important. It’s fun, and so people don’t take it as seriously.” In a November 2017 paper, the Swedish media scholar Patrick Vonderau coined the term Spotify effect to describe the way the platform has downplayed its market impact while emphasizing its clever design and fun, user-facing features. Spotify’s achievement, the paper concluded, was “the company’s ability to fold markets into each other: to make disappear an aggressive financial growth strategy and business set-up based on ad-tech engineering by creating an aura of Nordic cool and public benefit around its use of music.”

荷兰格罗宁根大学媒体研究教授罗伯特•普雷(Robert Prey)表示:“一般的音乐听众常常把音乐当作某种听觉壁纸。它在后台播放,没有那么重要。它也很有趣,所以人们不把它当回事。”在2017年11月的一篇论文中,瑞典媒体学者帕特里克•冯德罗(Patrick Vonderau)创造了“ Spotify 效应”这个词,用来描述这个平台是如何一边淡化其市场影响力,一边强调其巧妙的设计和有趣的、面向用户的功能。报告总结称, Spotify 的成就是“该公司让市场相互融合的能力:通过在音乐的使用上营造一种北欧酷炫和受益大众的氛围,使‘消失’成为一种基于广告技术工程的激进式金融增长战略和商业模式”。

Spotify is cool and innocuous, and so is Spotify Wrapped. It’s a year-end package of low-stakes personal data, focused on you, for you—as Instagram-ready as the feature’s design is, only on the last of nine screens do you see an option to “share” the results on social media. Benjamin Johnson, an advertising professor at the University of Florida who researches how we selectively share our music tastes to influence self-presentation, says that Spotify has managed to avoid the “creepiness factor” by granting a maximum amount of user control over what people’s networks see of their listening history. As a result, Johnson says, a person reviewing Wrapped results “feels the control in that moment before they take the screenshot, where they can decide, Is this going to make me look good? or Does this reflect the story that I want to tell about myself?”

Spotify 很酷,而且无伤大雅, Spotify 的年度听歌报告也是如此。这是一个年终的低风险个人数据包,它关注的是你,为你而生,虽然它的功能设计是为上传照片到Instagram而准备的,但只有在九页报告的最后一页,你才会看到在社交媒体上“分享”结果的选项。佛罗里达大学广告学教授本杰明•约翰逊(Benjamin Johnson)研究了我们如何有选择地分享自己的音乐品味,进而影响自我表现。约翰逊表示, Spotify 通过最大限度地让用户来决定社交圈能看到多少自己的收听历史,成功地避免了“令人毛骨悚然的因素”。因此,约翰逊说,一个人在查看年度报告的结果时,“在截屏之前的那一刻,他们有了控制感,他们可以决定——这会让我看起来更好吗?这反映了我想要讲述的关于我自己的故事吗?”

innocuous  /ɪˈnɔkjuəs / adj causing no harm 无害的; 无毒的

Of course, just because it doesn’t feel that way doesn’t mean Spotify isn’t collecting a ton of valuable personal information. “We find that there’s incredible detail in the data,” Prey says. “There’s all this information: everything from what brand of headphones you’re listening to the music on, to if the volume was changed within songs, whether or not you resize the app’s windows.” In May, a Bank of England project found that it was possible to capture subtleties in peoples’ moods and preferences based on their Spotify listening patterns and other data.

当然,仅仅因为感觉不到,不代表 Sportify 没有收集大量有价值的个人信息。“我们发现数据中有令人难以置信的细节,” 普雷说道,“这些信息应有尽有:从你用什么牌子的耳机听音乐,到歌曲中的音量是否发生了变化,再到你是否调整了应用程序的窗口大小。”今年5月,英国央行的一个项目发现,根据人们在 Spotify 上的收听模式和其他数据,有可能捕捉到他们情绪和偏好的微妙之处。

For this reason, Prey is concerned that Spotify may become a prime example of what he calls “function creep.” Spotify’s data collection may remain stored away in the cloud, Prey wrote in a 2016 study, “or it may one day migrate out, as previously undetermined uses for correlating music taste with some other aspect of our lives are discovered. For example, data collected for the purpose of recommending music may be found to deliver a reliable predictor of financial solvency, IQ, or relationship status. What if a taste for early ’90s Nu Metal indicates a higher propensity to default on a debt repayment?” In other words, Spotify itself may have no real reason for tracking when you adjust the size of your app’s window, and you might not care that it does so—but should an opportunity to monetize that information arise, the company already has it. “As people say,” Prey quips, “data is the new oil.” (Spotify declined to comment on the record for this story.) Ultimately, the popularity of Wrapped may reveal more about our love for music—and occasionally, our inability to resist the charm of a catchy show tune—than it does about our protectiveness over our data.

因此,普雷担心 Spotify 可能会成为他所说的“功能蔓延”的一个典型例子。普雷在2016年的一份研究报告中写道, Spotify 的数据收集可能会保存在云端,“也可能有一天会迁移出去,因为人们发现,音乐品味与我们生活的某些其他方面之间存在着某种尚未确定的关联。例如,为了推荐音乐而收集的数据可能用于可靠的预测金融偿付能力、智商或关系状态。如果对上世纪90年代初新金属音乐的偏好表明,这个人拖欠借款的可能性更高,那该怎么办?”换句话说,当你调整应用程序窗口的大小时, Spotify 本身可能没有真正的理由进行跟踪,你可能也不在乎它这么做——但如果有机会利用这些信息赚钱,这些信息已经在该公司手中了。“正如人们所说,” 普雷打趣道,“数据就是新的石油。”( Spotify 拒绝就这篇报道发表评论。)总而言之,年度报告的流行可能更多地揭示了我们对音乐的热爱——偶尔,我们无法抗拒洗脑调调的魅力——而不是我们对数据的保护。



📜怎么看网易云音乐 2018 年年度报告?


  • 本文原载于 The Atlantic

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