Last week’s release of Spotify Wrapped 2022 generated the usual mountain of social-media buzz – but also some controversy. Spotify has found itself caught in the middle of the latest fierce K-Pop feud between the respective fandoms of BTS (Army) and Blackpink (Blinks), although both of those groups appear to be seeing Spotify as a protagonist rather than an innocent bystander.
What’s afoot? Confusion over whether BTS’s Jungkook or Blackpink’s Lisa were the most-streamed K-Pop solo act of the year in Wrapped 2022. Spotify’s initial chart apparently had the wrong artist in top position – “multiple genre tags led to slightly different top ten lists, and they were not properly merged,” was its explanation. But by this point, all hell had broken loose online, with accusations of corruption and then bullying (over the reaction faced by Lisa) flying between the two fandoms.
K-Pop is a key growth genre for Spotify: in February it said streams were up 27% year-on-year, and has since rebranded its flagship K-Pop playlist; added a K-Pop zone to its Roblox island; and launched a dedicated editorial site for the genre.
Being caught up in a fandom feud is an unhappier end to 2022, then.
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