It’s been 67 days – or 96,480 minutes – since Taylor Swift broke the internet with her bombshell appearance at Travis Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs game in September.
But an elite cadre of fans, like 29-year-old Abigail Rose King, have already spent more than three times that amount of minutes with the superstar singer this year alone. King found out on Wednesday through Spotify Wrapped that she’d placed within the minuscule .001% of Swift’s listeners on the streaming platform, translating, in King’s case, to a staggering 351,281 minutes of listening – breaking down to 243.9 days, or roughly eight months.
It marked King’s third year achieving that .001 ranking, she proudly shared across her social media accounts. Spotify did not return request for comment from The Independent about just how many fans constitute that coveted percentile.
“I have been obsessed with Taylor’s music all my life, pretty much only listen to her, and unfortunately I’m awake with insomnia from my fibromyalgia A LOT,” King told The Independent in a written interview. “I am pretty much always playing Taylor Swift. Whether it’s blasting out in the car, on my phone while I scroll, on the TV while I clean, or playing through my speaker while I sing in the shower.”
Dealing with chronic pain, the Salt Lake City resident said that “listening to Taylor’s music, I think, is truly what keeps me going ... the pains are dulled ever so slightly when I can sing along to my favorite songs.”
Tatiana Lopez, 24, also ranked in the top .001% – a goal she’d been steadily creeping towards since she began using the streaming platform three years ago. Swift, whose music Lopez fell in love with at the age of nine, has been her annual top artist.
“Last year, I was in the top .005% and this year I’m in the top .001%,” she told The Independent via Facebook. “Honestly I think one of my goals was to surpass 2022’s minutes (around 65,000 minutes) but I genuinely love her songs so much and she’s the artist I gravitate to when I want to listen to music ... even when I’m listening to other artists, she’s usually in my music queue.”
Lopez, who’s flying from the Philippines to Canada for her first Swift concert next year, said she’s “managed to get this many minutes because I listen while I work out, do chores, shower, work (I have an office job and I can listen to music while working.)”
There’s a genuine love for and obsessions with Swift and her music propelling the listeners in the .001%, but there are other motivations, too. They want to see her high in the charts. They want to show the world how loyal they are. All of it, though, is wrapped up in unadulterated adulation.
“When a new album is out, I stream almost 24/7 (also while sleeping). For the charts and all,” Lopez said. “I know charts aren’t the most important aspect of this, but it makes Taylor happy when she knows we’re enjoying her music.”
There’s also a good-natured rivalry. There have been some rumblings in online forums, fans here and there complaining that top Wrapped listeners should get priority for tours or other perks. But as social media users shared their Spotify Wrapped across platforms this week, responses almost universallys echoed some variation on “Wow!”
There are a lot of exclamation points and emojis in the Swiftaverse, but everything exudes genuine, positive enthusiasm.
Michigan graduate student Ashley Sacha, 23, was excited to be ranked .1% of Taylor Spotify listeners this week – and impressed to see people had listened to her favorite artist even more.
Being ranked herself in the .1%, she told The Independent, was “still pretty crazy ...I think folks with even higher ranks, One, that’s so cool, and Two, I know that, for myself, sometimes I fall asleep listening to Taylor Swift – and so I wonder if folks also do that, like me, to give her some streams and give her the rankings that she deserves.”
The Spotify Wrapped fallout amongst Swifties, according to Lopez, has been “a mix of both bragging rights and showing support.”
“I know it shouldn’t be about bragging rights because people can love Taylor just as much but have a different listening routine,” she told The Independent. “Minutes spent listening to her isn’t directly proportional to how much you love/support her.
“But, on the other hand, I feel kind of proud to see my minutes and how my top songs are all Taylor,” she said, noting that Swifties like her enjoyed the chance to show the wider world just how much – and how broadly – her favorite artists inspires.
“When other people see my top .001% and they see how dedicated I am, it also makes me feel proud (even if I feel like some of them think it’s weird thatI listen to her that much,)” she said.
Back in Utah, King said she achieved her .001% mostly “to actually learn all the lyrics and melodies.”
“I pride myself on being able to sing along to every Secret Song Taylor performs on tour,” she said. “Would it be nice to get noticed by Taylor’s team and get invited to some event? Absolutely.”
Swift released special videos for top listeners this week, blowing a kiss as she told them how “grateful” she was to be on their Spotify Wrapped. But the top-tier fans of Spotify Wrapped’s top artist seemed to view it only as a bonus, happy enough just to see their passion reflected in rankings along with their idol’s sweeping popularity.
“I know that she has billions of listeners all across the world, but I do feel excited to be a part of something special, to know that I listen to her quite a bit,’ Sacha told The Independent from Ypsilanti, adding that “sometimes it’s a shock, seeing how much people listened to her.
“But I’m just happy that she’s getting the streams that she deserves. And I’m happy people find joy in her music as much as I do.”