YouTube Music 2022 Recap Is Here To Review Your Year In Tunes

Per a press release, YouTube Music is set to bring back the popular Recap feature, allowing users of Google's music platform to take their own nostalgic, slickly-designed look back at the last year in music. The OG of music recap services — Spotify Wrapped — has been enjoying its usual year-end spike in usage, bolstered by the slick Instafest app that presents Spotify users' musical tastes as a stylish poster for their own personal music festival.

Google and Spotify aren't the only companies indulging in musical nostalgia this year, as Apple's 2022 Replay feature just went live as well. Apple has made the service a yearly affair since 2019, while Google got in on the fun in 2021. Each tool has a different look and different features, but all are designed to allow for pleasant reminiscing to the last year's soundtrack.

What may seem like just a fun look back at the music you grooved to over the last year has quite a bit to say about the music streaming industry.

Recap, Wrapped, Replay: On songs and shares

It's commonplace in the music industry to say that three services dominate the streaming marketplace. Technically, that's true, but it's also misleading.

It's a fact that between them, Spotify, Apple, and Amazon represent more than 60% of the global music streaming industry. It's also a fact that Spotify dwarfs its competitors: Spotify's 33% market share as of 2021 is more than Apple (18%) and Amazon (14%) combined. Tencent and Google's YouTube Music round out the top five providers (via Business of Apps). Where streaming is concerned, it's Spotify's world; other apps are just living in it.

Tencent is the instructive case. Tencent is primarily a Chinese provider, but it's undergone slow but steady growth in most of its marketplaces, despite Spotify and Apple both being available in China. Where music is concerned, users tend to identify services they like and stick with them. Smart services reward users for steady engagement. Spotify is particularly good at that (via Platform).

That's the greater significance of seemingly minor moves, like the various Recap services. Music services have to do everything they can to retain customers in a competitive market with one clear dominant presence. Offering a distinct service occupying the same niche as Spotify Wrapped is one way to do so.