Spotify is now making its Canvas feature available to more artists in beta.
Canvas is responsible for those looping videos you see in the app on the ‘Now Playing’ screen. The feature has been in limited testing with certain artists before today. Canvas allows the album artwork to appear as a moving visual experience in a loop.
Spotify users have had mixed reactions to the feature. Some find the constantly looping imagery to be distracting. Others prefer stationary album art to a constantly flowing image.
Beyond that, some songs also feature limited video loops culled from actual videos or artist footage. Those have drawn similarly mixed reactions.
So far, the challenge has been to design a video loop that works to highlight content rather than distract from it.
Spotify says that since Canvas launched on the platform, it has been seen by millions of users. But the impact of Canvas on user retention isn’t known — and it’s unclear if anyone truly likes it.
Spotify says when it works, it does help to increase tracks and streams. But Spotify didn’t make clear what happens when the feature fails to engage. Personally, I hated when Netflix added looping video previews of their content. This update seems to stray into that territory, with a feature that seems more distracting than useful.
Accordingly, we present the following 10-second tutorial…
How To Turn Off Spotify’s Canvas Feature
To turn off Canvas, go to ‘Your Library’ and click on the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner. Then click ‘Settings’ and scroll to the ‘Playback’ setting. You’ll see a Canvas setting that you can toggle to off. Spotify doesn’t show Canvas videos in its data saver mode, either.
You can bet you’ll be seeing more of these lopping videos as the feature enters open beta. Spotify says it’s a way to get noticed, and that may be true — but it’s also a way to annoy the heck out of people.
“The goal is for you to have richer ways to express yourself and to allow listeners to engage with you and your music even more deeply,” Spotify waxed. “We’re continuing to work on additional features, as well as more tools and metrics to help you better understand how your art is reaching your audience.”
Maybe this is Spotify’s attempt to compete with YouTube Music and its millions of music videos. Just recently, Google made the decision to make YouTube Music the default music player for new Android devices.