Spotify launched a visual feature called ‘Canvas’ in 2018 which allowed certain artists to upload 8-second looping videos for their songs. Instead of showing a static square artwork, the feature provides an opportunity to creatively bring songs to life with a full-screen takeover on mobile devices. Now it looks as the company is set to roll the feature out to more artists, and possibly everyone.
Initially only made available to some of the biggest artists such as Billie Eilish, it’s slowly been made available to more of the top tier artist releases, and while some used it to loop sections of their music video’s others made creative concepts just for Spotify and brought still artworks to life.
The feature certainly catches the eye of listeners and potentially helps them connect with music in a deeper way than traditional static artwork. Spotify have confirmed this noting that “adding a high-quality Canvas to a track has increased streams by up to 120% and saves by up to 114%, in addition to lifts in artist profile visits and shares”.
With the announcement, they have launched an all-new website for interested artists to apply for access to the feature. All they need to do is provide their artist URI (Found on their profile after clicking the 3 dots) and provide the e-mail they use for ‘Artists Insights’ access.
While it’s obviously a great opportunity for artists, some users were concerned that the video playing eats up more of their data and will drain their battery life. However they added a “Data Saver” mode which allows you to disable the canvas, but the catch is it also gives you lower quality music as well.
The canvas is a significant new way to interact with music and possibly feeds the short attention span that the TikTok community thrives off. It will be interesting to see the role of moving images and music as we move forward. Given we now mostly consume it in digital format perhaps one day all artworks could be moving images.
Sign up to request Canvas here.