Plus, there are some exclusive podcasts on there that you can’t find anywhere else. Now at the end of each year, Spotify sends its users a visual report that gives a breakdown of your yearly listening stats and insights into your listening history. And although we’re still a few weeks away from the end of the year, wow it’s crazy to say that, but it’s true the end of the year is only a few weeks away, well, I received my 2022 listening report this week.
This is bonus episode 30 of the Culips English Podcast. I’m Andrew and I’ll be your host and your study buddy today. And in this episode, I’m going to talk about some of the interesting things I learned about myself through my Spotify look back report at the year 2022. There’s a completely free interactive transcript that accompanies this episode and you can get it just by following the link in the description or by visiting our website Culips.com and selecting the bonus episode option from the podcast menu.
When I opened my Spotify app on December 1st, I was greeted with an announcement that my 2022 Wrapped was ready. That’s what Spotify calls its yearly report, Wrapped. W-R-A-P-P-E-D, wrapped. It’s kind of a clever name when you think about it. Wrap has several meanings in English. The first one, as a verb, is to finish or end something. Maybe you’ve heard me say, “Well, that wraps things up for us today” at the end of a Culips episode.
Or sometimes at the end of a meeting or when we’re finishing a project, you could say, “Let’s call it a wrap.” In that instance, a wrap, well, that’s a noun, but it still has the same meaning, and we use it to say that something is finished. The other meaning of wrap is to cover something completely in paper. So, for example, think about wrapping a present like we do when we’re giving a birthday gift or a Christmas present.
So, I think Spotify should give a raise to the employee who thought of that clever title for their yearly user report because it works on a few levels, right? Like the year has come to a wrap. It’s the end of the year. And also, Spotify has wrapped a gift for each user that tells them about their listening habits over the last year. As a word nerd, I love this kind of clever wordplay. Another thing I love is statistics. I find them really motivating and just fascinating to follow and track.
For example, one of the reasons why I use the app Anki every day to help me review my Korean vocabulary. By the way, guys, I’m learning Korean as a second language if you don’t know. Well, one of the reasons why I use this app to help me with learning Korean vocabulary is because I have a 500+ day streak going. So, it’s very motivating for me to see that statistic each day and to keep using the app so I can extend that streak even longer and longer and longer.
And I also love looking at my Anki stats to learn about how I learned. What words I know well, what words I can never remember and always seem to forget, all those kinds of things. I also use an app called Strava to track and record all of my runs and my bike rides. I have a GPS watch that records how far I go, my speed, my heart rate, and a bunch of other measurements. And then all of that data goes into Strava as a journal of my exercise history.
And just like I love looking at my study and exercise stats, I also love the yearly report from Spotify that tells me about my music-listening history over the previous year. Let’s jump into the report, shall we? I have to say when I first took a look at it, I was pretty shocked. And the reason why I was so shocked was because I listened to a lot of music in 2022. Now, if you were to ask me, if you thought I listened to a lot of music, I’d probably answer no. I don’t really think that I listened to a lot of music, it doesn’t feel like I do.
But the stats state otherwise. According to Spotify, I listened to nearly 49,000 minutes of music in 2022. Now, I don’t know why they report the number in minutes. It’s a little bit strange to me, but I guess they have a rationale for doing that. But if we do a little math and crunch some numbers, that means that I listened to about 816 hours of music. And that’s the same as 34 full days of music listening. That’s unbelievable. 34 days, over a full month of solid music listening this year.
I think the reason I listened to so much music is probably because my job requires a lot of desk work. And if I’m not teaching or editing podcasts, or recording podcasts, then I’m probably doing some desk work. I’m writing or lesson planning, and those can be done while listening to music. Everybody’s different, and I’m not sure about you, but I’m one of those people who actually can’t work very well when listening to music.
I tend to get too distracted and focus on the lyrics, or the guitar solos, or the rhythms, some element of the music is distracting. And because of that, I can’t focus on my work. But if the music is instrumental, like classical, or ambience or some smooth jazz, nothing too exciting, or some electronic music, again, minimal, nothing too exciting, well, then I can listen to it without losing focus on my work. And you know that GPS watch that I mentioned a little earlier?
Well, it also syncs with Spotify, and I can load music onto it and listen to that music when I exercise. So, whenever I’m running, and to be honest, even though this is a bad habit, occasionally, even when I’m biking too, I know it’s dangerous, but I’m careful, don’t worry. I always listen to music when I’m exercising. Now, here’s the thing, my watch doesn’t have a big storage capacity, there’s not much memory on the watch. And I can only load around 100 songs or so onto it.
And because I’m generally pretty lazy, I don’t change the music on it that often, I always just listen to the same playlist on random whenever I exercise. And that means I’ve listened to many of the same songs over and over and over again, during 2022. So, while it might seem like I don’t listen to music a lot at first, because I often have music on when I work, or when I work out, those listening hours add up really quickly. And I guess that’s how I listened to 34 days of music this year.
Maybe you’re curious about what kind of music I listened to? Well, many of my top artists were my top artists because they were on my running playlist. I think my statistics are skewed. And if the statistics are skewed, it means they’re probably not really accurate or not a good reflection of the truth. And I think I listened to a wide variety of music, but the music that I listened to the most was up-tempo, high-energy music, because I think that’s good to listen to when exercising.
So, three Canadian artists, Drake, Blue Hawaii, and Daphni were the ones that I listened to the most. And those artists, like I said, they’re all Canadian, but they share another thing in common, which is that they all create up-tempo music, and it’s great to listen to while exercising. Interestingly, Spotify said that my most listened to genre from the past year was something called fourth world music. Fourth world.
Now, if you’re confused about what fourth world music is, you’re not alone, because actually, I had never heard of fourth world music either. So, I was very shocked when I saw this on my report that I listened to fourth world music because I had no idea what it was. So, I turned to my trusty friend Google, and I did some research to try and find out exactly what this genre was all about.
And I learned that the term fourth world was coined by a trumpet player and a composer named James Hassel. And he described this genre as being quote, “A blend of traditional music from around the world with Western forms and modern electronics, forming a kind of contemporary folk music from unknown and imaginary regions” end quote. Pretty cool, right? So, you know that ambient and electronic music that I talked about earlier?
Well, I think that’s the kind of music that Spotify classifies as fourth world. At the start of the episode, I mentioned that Spotify is not a perfect app, because it has some shortcomings in my opinion. Actually, we could probably dedicate a whole Chatterbox episode to this topic. Streaming music apps and how they pay their musicians is a fascinating debate, and I think it’s one that could make for an excellent conversation. But I won’t get into all of that now.
I’ll just say that the shortcoming that I want to talk about right now to do with Spotify is international music. They don’t have a very good international music library, unfortunately. I do have to give them credit and say that over the last couple of years, this has been improved significantly. However, it’s still hard for me to find some of my favorite Korean and Japanese music on Spotify. And when it comes to music from all corners of the world, YouTube still reigns supreme.
Many people use Spotify to listen to podcasts as well, and I actually use a different app for podcasts. So, I don’t have any interesting insights into my podcasts listening history, unfortunately. But the Culips Instagram account has been flooded with messages this week from many of you, who do use Spotify to listen to podcasts, and especially to listen to Culips. And I was delighted and blown away to see so many people send us messages, where Culips was their top listened to podcast over the last year.
And I was really impressed with how much you guys listened to Culips. It was amazing. I saw that many people had listened to us for over 100 hours this year, which is just incredible stuff. So, thanks to all of you who sent me a screenshot. It really made my week. And thank you to Spotify for sending me this user report from the last year. I really enjoyed looking over it this week as well. If you’re a Culips member, I’ve got an important announcement for you.
This upcoming Tuesday at 7:30pm. Korean Standard Time, we’re holding our monthly live stream. Once again, that’s this Tuesday, December 6th, 2022. At 7:30pm. Korean Standard Time. You’ll have to calculate that for your local time, but if you’re in Europe, it’s probably going to happen in the afternoon. And if you’re in North America, probably going to happen sometime in the early morning. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for us to choose a time that works well for everyone everywhere.
But of course, if you can’t join us live, you can always watch the recorded version later. During the live stream, I’m going to be joined by Alina, one of our new study guide writers. She’s a talented teacher and an experienced language learner. And I think you’re all going to find her fun and inspiring. We’ll even open up the live stream to any members who would like to call in and talk with us or ask a question. So, I hope everyone can join us for that.
In other Culips news, we uploaded a brand-new Chatterbox episode this week, about a much-requested topic, personal finance. To be honest, recording this episode was more difficult than usual. Talking about money and finance in a public way is, to an extent, taboo in the culture of English-speaking countries. But Anna and I tried our best and I think in the end, we had a wonderful conversation that you’ll be able to learn a lot from.
The full episode is on our website, and of course comes with a transcript and study guide for all Culips members. One last piece of housekeeping. I’d love to get your opinion about something and it’s about the length of these bonus episodes. For the last few weeks, the episodes were nearly 30 minutes long. In this episode, I’m trying to keep it a bit shorter. But I’d like to know what the perfect episode length is, in your opinion.
Do you prefer longer episodes where I share several stories or shorter episodes where I only tell one story and keep things quick? If you could leave a comment on our website or let me know by email, my address is email@example.com by the way, it would be very much appreciated, and I’d love to hear from you. And now it’s time for this week’s vocabulary lesson. Earlier in the episode, I talked a lot about the music app of Spotify.
However, I mentioned that it unfortunately lacks some of the non-English music that I enjoy listening to. And when it comes to finding and listening to music from around the world, YouTube reigns supreme. Have you heard that expression before to reign supreme? It’s a good one to know, and it’s the key expression for this vocabulary lesson. You know what, why don’t we rewind the episode, go back, and listen to where I said, this expression, reigns supreme, a couple more times. Let’s do it.
And when it comes to music from all corners of the world, YouTube still reigns supreme.
So, first of all, let’s talk about the word reign. Although it has the same pronunciation as the weather, it’s spelt differently. R-E-I-G-N. To reign means to rule over someone or something and to hold the ultimate power or authority. Think of a king, a king reigns over his country.
A king is the ultimate, most powerful, top boss, number one guy in a country, so he reigns. And supreme means the best or the most important or the most powerful. So, when we put these two words together, then what do we get? Well, if someone or something reigns supreme, then it means that that person or that thing is the best by a longshot, to a great extent.
So, when I said that YouTube reigns supreme, what I meant was that in my opinion, it’s the best music app for finding and discovering music from places like Korea, Japan, and other countries around the world.
So, if someone or something reigns supreme, it just means that that person or that thing is the best and better than all of the rest. As always, I’ve prepared some example sentences to help you learn how English speakers use this expression in a natural way. So, let’s take a listen to the first example now. Here we go.
Example sentence number one.
Which team will reign supreme and become the World Cup champions? Many people predict Brazil, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Let’s break this example down. In this example, we heard the speaker ask a question. The question was, which team will reign supreme and win the World Cup? So, remember that reign supreme means to be the best, or the most powerful, or the most important. And so yeah, if you are the World Cup champions, you reign supreme, you are the top soccer team in the world.
By the way, I watched a lot of the World Cup this last week and unfortunately Canada was eliminated, but South Korea advanced. So, now I can put all of my support behind South Korea, and they’re going to be playing Brazil. And like that example said, many people predict Brazil will win the World Cup. So, I’ll be cheering for South Korea, but I know we have many listeners in Brazil as well. So, let’s just cross our fingers for a good game and may the best team win.
Example sentence number two.
My kids reign supreme in our house, they choose the dinner menu, what we do on the weekends, and even what we watch on TV.
Let’s break this example sentence down. In this example, the speaker says that his kids reign supreme in his house. So that means that his kids are the boss. His kids make the decisions. They choose what to eat, what to do, and even what to watch on TV.
Example sentence number three.
Some people say that the best video game of all time is Super Mario Brothers. But in my opinion, Tetris reigns supreme.
Let’s break this example down. In this example, the speaker says that in his opinion, Tetris is the best video game of all time. It reigns supreme, it is better than every other video game ever made. Even better than Super Mario Brothers. What do you guys think? Do you agree? Do you think Tetris reigns supreme? I don’t know. But I would say that that is a very good choice. Tetris is a very fun game that even non-video game players like me can really enjoy.
Let’s call it a wrap. That brings us to the end of this lesson. Thanks for listening and studying English with me today. I hope you learned a lot. If you’d like to make some practice sentences with today’s key expression, to reign supreme, that’d be great. You can share your sentences with me and the Culips community by making a comment on our website Culips.com. If you like Culips, and you find us helpful for building your English fluency, please support the work that we do here.
You can do that by signing up and becoming a Culips member, telling your friends about us, following us on social media, or leaving us a five-star rating and review in your favorite podcast app. Alright, that’s it for now. Take care. I’ll talk to you next time. Bye!