Being the mathematical equivalent of those lads who come round the houses selling dish cloths with menaces, any mention of data and metrics tends to send me to the kitchen to hide under the table until it’s safe to come out. But I make an exception for Spotify Wrapped. Say what you like about it – “creepy” and “meaningless” is once music critic’s recent summation – I love Spotify Wrapped.

Informed by algorithms which know what they played over the previous year, as well as when and how often, the music streaming platform produces a personalised, pre-Christmas read out for each of its 226 million paying subscribers.

This comes complete with whizz-bang graphics, neat factoids, moving images, a dose of humour and those all important statistics which tell you cool things such as you’re in the top two per cent of Hawkwind fans worldwide (that’s me, by the way).

In essence, it’s the PowerPoint presentation you always hope to get at staff meetings but never do.

This year my second most-listened-to artist after Hawkwind actually sent me a message thanking me for my support, interest and attention. Yes, it was Taylor Swift. At 57 I’m sure I’m not the oldest Swiftie on the planet, but again I’m probably in the top two per cent.

My Spotify listening is wide and varied but I have had her albums Midnights, Evermore and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) on heavy rotation, as they say. Me doing that and her popping up on my phone to address me is personal proof that this has been her year.

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To put that in words a t-shirt would understand: it’s Taylor’s world, we just live in it.

But don’t just take my word. This week, in what is a more long-standing annual ritual, Time magazine named its Person Of The Year for 2023. Guess who? The first musician to feature and one of very few women, it puts the singer in pretty august company. Mahatma Gandhi, Haile Selassie, Martin Luther King Jr., Queen Elizabeth, Barack Obama and Pope John Paul II have all featured (as have Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Putin).

In a lengthy, if syrupy interview, the magazine laid out Swift’s accomplishments and the reasons for its choice of her as Person Of The Year. Older readers may baulk at the comparisons with Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell or raise a sceptical eyebrow on hearing Harvard Professor of English Stephanie Burt compare her to William Wordsworth (Harvard is one of at least 10 American universities offering Taylor Swift-related courses). Others might note her disinclination to use her platform to address political or societal ills. But there is no denying the singer’s cultural impact.

Back to Spotify. The company swiftly (sorry) followed the Spotify Wrapped roll-out with some rather less welcome news – the announcement that it was cutting 1,500 jobs, or about 17% of its workforce. This comes on top of a six per cent staffing reduction in January.

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Shares rose as a result buoyed by news the company had posted profits in the third quarter of 2023. So despite the cuts it looks as if we still haven’t reached peak streaming. That’s thanks in part to Taylor Swift, who is estimated to have earned £79 million in royalties from Spotify in 2023 courtesy of a whopping 26 billion streams of her music.

But what’s interesting about Swift’s crowning as Time’s Person Of The Year is that it’s based not on that fact but on an old school show business endeavour which was being practised long before streaming – that of a singer getting up on stage night after night, in city after city, and laying on a razzle-dazzle show.

This is the Eras tour, of course. It began in March, runs until next December and (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you) sets down at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium for three nights in June. Projections for the total gross take started at £800 million and are now around £1.6 billion and climbing. Don’t bet against it doubling again in 2024. Against that, the £79 from Spotify is small change.

Yes, the tour has a digital second life in the context of Swift’s savvy use of social media, and a third one in the form of the myriad Instagram and TikTok reels her fans produce at the concerts, on the way to the concerts, after the concerts. And yes, there’s a big screen iteration in the form of a movie.

But this is essentially an old-fashioned concert tour, and Swift’s accomplishment – the one which has brought her Time magazine’s celebrated accolade – is one wrought by old-fashioned show business virtues: dedication to your craft, a sweaty determination to do justice to your talent and a sheer love of entertaining people. That’s worth celebrating.