Spotify is beta testing Canvas, a new feature which allows artists and labels to add a fullscreen, 3-8 second moving visual to tracks. It replaces cover art and will loop in the Now Playing view of the Spotify app.
Remember when a few ambitious bands released LPs with trippy 3D covers, and you had to wear special glasses to appreciate the artwork? This is kind of like that but also nothing like that at all.
This GIF linked in the article shows the feature in action. Though that example is a bit underwhelming, it does give an opening taste of how streaming platforms will utilize visuals. The forever morphing album cover isn’t far off.
Some people aren’t having it. Via Lifehacker:
I think Canvas is a neat idea—it’s essentially an album art GIF—but I tend to listen to Spotify rather than watch it, so the idea of an endlessly looping video seems like a silly waste of data. Spotify says Canvas is “optimized to use very little data and battery,” so I don’t want to overemphasize the impact of turning it off, but it’s still something you should consider if you don’t want the annoyance.