“Through the expanded beta, we hope to inspire artist teams to treat Canvas as a critical and unique part of their release strategy,” reads a blog post recently published on Spotify’s website. “However, it’s not just for new releases -- once in the beta program, artists can express themselves across their entire catalog by adding a unique Canvas to any track or album.”
In a separate post, Spotify notes that artists can reap benefits from the tool, with internal metrics showing “increased streams by up to 120% and saves by up to 114%, in addition to lifts in artist profile visits and shares” when a “high-quality” Canvas -- which plays in the crucial “Now Playing” view -- is added to a track. As an added benefit, artists taking part in the beta are given access to view counts around each Canvas to better understand how fans are engaging with the content.
The Canvas beta was first revealed in January. Since then, a number of artists have made creative use of the tool, from superstar Celine Dion (who used it to run a scavenger hunt) to emerging artist SWMRS (who recently launched a fan-submission Canvas contest).
Artists who haven’t yet received an invite can sign up for the Canvas waitlist here. Suggestions on how to make best use the tool can be found here.
Spotify has been experimenting with adding visual elements to its service for some time. In May 2017, the company launched vertical videos, premiering content from artists including Selena Gomez, Halsey, Ariana Grande and Travis Scott. And in January 2018, the company announced the launch of Spotlight, a new multimedia format that added visual layers to podcasts, audiobooks, news and other audio content on the platform.