The Canvas feature on Spotify (where a short video loops on the mobile app instead of just having the single or album artwork) is opening up to more users via the Spotify for Artists tool.
Music Ally first spotted the feature at the start of last year – back when it didn’t even have an official name – after Superorganism used it for their ‘Everybody Wants To Be Famous’ single. We described it at the time as a “feature that replaces static artwork for songs on its service with GIF-like looping videos uploaded by their artists or labels”. Since then, a number of acts and labels have been invited to test it and Spotify is now broadening out that test pool.
It is not completely open to all, but the company says it is extending the feature to “some of the most active Spotify for Artists”, posting a blog on how people can start using it and get the most out of it.
Among the 10 tips it outlines to potential users are: avoid looping clips with someone singing or rapping (as the visuals are not synced to the audio); steer away from rapid edits or flashing graphics; get to grips with the three different types of loops it offers (the Continuous Loop, the Hard Cut loop and the Rebound since you ask); and think of ways to carry a theme or story across all tracks on an album, citing Tangerine Dream II by Alex Wiley as a good example of this in action.
This all ties into a wider push by Spotify to make its music offering more visual – with Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift being recent examples of major acts creating more visual-led and interactive album/playlist experiences within Spotify.
Canvas is, of course, a more accessible and cost-effective option for newer acts and smaller labels, so the slow rolling out of this feature could see more creative minds who, having to work around budgetary restrictions, could start to do really interesting things with it.