Following Spotify’s confirmation of a new Stories feature, initially being tested by social media influencers, the company this morning announced it will now allow artists to reach their Instagram fan bases in a new way, too. However, in this case, they aren’t creating Spotify Stories they can market elsewhere on their social media, but instead are able to share their unique video art from Spotify’s Canvas feature directly to their Instagram.
Canvas launched into beta last fall, allowing artists to replace the album art that appears when a song is playing with a moving, visual experience that plays in a short loop. Canvas videos have had mixed reviews as some users find the imagery distracting while others seem to prefer it.
Starting today, the thousands of artists in the Canvas beta will be able to share their looping videos to Instagram with just a tap.
From the app’s Artists profile, each track that included a Canvas will have a “Share” icon next to it. By tapping that icon, artists can share the song and its Canvas to Instagram Stories. The post will look like a regular Spotify share with cover art and a link to play the track on Spotify. However, now their looping video will be the backdrop.
Currently, the Canvas beta is only available to those using the Spotify for Artists app on iOS. Spotify says it’s working to bring the sharing feature to Android users soon.
In addition, fans seeing the Canvas on Instagram aren’t counted in the Canvas metrics, unless they click through to Spotify, the company says.
The feature itself is intended to aid artists who are marketing their new songs to fans on Instagram as well as for highlighting updates to Canvas — like those that are updated to include clips from a new music video, new art, or live performances, for example.
One high-profile artist who’s taking advantage of Canvas is Billie Eilish — the artist who just swept last night’s Grammy Awards by winning the four biggest prizes — best new artist, record of the year, album of the year, and song of the year. Eilish has used Canvas to share animated versions of fan art, which helps her to better engage with her fan base.
Spotify claims that adding a high-quality Canvas has increased track shares by up to 200%, in addition to lifting streams, saves, and artist profile visits. By expanding Canvas to Instagram, those shares should bump up even higher, the company believes.
Despite its social media media-inspired features, like the new Stories addition or the looping videos of Canvas, Spotify doesn’t intend for its streaming app to become a new social platform. Instead, its focus is on building features that artists and listeners can leverage to better connect with social media fan bases elsewhere — either to help market themselves and their music or to improve discoverability of new music among their followers.
Artists interested in Canvas can sign up for the waiting list here.