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‘Hey bestie’: Cambridge gets the spotlight in Spotify Wrapped 2023

The city was a popular mention on Spotify’s new “Sound Town” feature this year, and officials played into the hype in a social media exchange with the music streaming giant.

Many Spotify users got Cambridge as their "Sound Town" in the annual Spotify Wrapped.Globe Staff/Spotify

There’s a solid chance you were inundated this week with a flood of social media posts after Spotify rolled out its highly popular “Spotify Wrapped,” an annual review that breaks down the personal listening habits of its users for the past year.

Whether it was Taylor Swift or Noah Kahan — or a little bit of Lil Wayne — people have been eager to dissect and disseminate what they had blaring through their headphones as they walked or waited endlessly for the MBTA to arrive in 2023.

But this year brought a new feature to the year-end wrap, called “Sound Town,” which showed listeners how their favorites lined up with communities elsewhere around the world, and then matched them to a city that listened “just like you.”

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One of the more popular “Sound Town” locations? None other than Cambridge.

According to Spotify, there were more than 1,300 cities included in the Sound Town experience for its inaugural rollout — and .1 percent of the platform’s 574 million users worldwide received Cambridge as their destination. Other frequently assigned spots included Burlington, Vt., and Berkeley, Calif.

“The Sound Town selected for each eligible user has the most similar taste profile to their own — based on their most streamed artists of the year and how those artists are streamed in other cities across the globe,” a Spotify spokesperson said by email, explaining how the feature works. “It is objective and entirely driven by a user’s listening history.”

People being tied with Cambridge as their “Sound Town” sparked jokes online, including some from people in the LGBTQ community who said they were overwhelmingly being matched with the city.

The abundance of posts about Cambridge, Berkeley, and Burlington prompted Spotify to give those cities a shout-out on X, in a message sent to its 13 million followers.

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“Hey besties,” the company wrote on Wednesday, tagging each community.

Officials from Cambridge were quick to play along.

“Hey bestie,” the city replied from its official X account, in a message that included a GIF of Swift, Spotify’s most-streamed artist this year.

For her part, Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui shared a Spotify Wrapped playlist on X, called “The Sound of Cambridge Massachusetts US.”

Jeremy Warnick, Cambridge’s director of media relations and content strategy, said officials were excited to see the city listed among the most popular “Sound Towns.”

“Music is an integral part of our city’s culture, identity, and vibrancy. Cambridge has a long history of supporting independent music venues, studios, record labels, and local artists across an eclectic range of genres,” he said.

Some of the artists that led people to be assigned to Cambridge included Swift, Charli XCX, boygenius, Gracie Abrams, and Phoebe Bridgers — artists that “perfectly encapsulate the creative, progressive spirit of Cambridge,” he said.

“Our city values self-expression, inclusion, and innovation,” Warnick added, “the very qualities embodied by these musical trailblazers.”


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him @steveannear.