Back in October 2019, Spotify released Canvas. Canvas is a new feature that allows artists to upload three to eight-second loop videos. These videos, which are attached to their tracks, play automatically on listeners’ phones. A limited number of musical artists had previously tested the program. But since it’s number of users has increased, the Canvas has received some mixed reviews.
The Setting People Want to Change the Most
Canvas is technically still in beta, so it isn’t perfect — and reviews would agree. Some find the feature incredibly distracting. Since Spotify was made for listening, not viewing, the feature seems impractical and pointless. What was wrong with having static cover art?
Don’t Unfollow the Artist, Turn Off the Video!
If used correctly, the Canvas feature generates “album artwork for the streaming age.” It increases the artist’s visibility and artistic expression. Billie Eilish is known for using her Canvas to showcase videos that perpetuate her moody stage persona and showcase fan art. So just because users don’t have the patience for what are ultimately GIFs doesn’t mean the feature isn’t successful.
Still, not every artist — mainstream artists included — will create attention-grabbing short-form videos, balancing compelling visuals with storytelling. They can risk losing followers and listeners for one simple reason: their video is annoying.
Instead of skipping over potentially new favorite music, however, users can change their Canvas settings on Spotify to turn off the video. Artists who don’t like Canvas can disable the feature or replace a video they feel is distracting.
Change Canvas Playback Settings as Listener
If you are a listener using Spotify for iPhone or Android, you can quickly disable Canvas. The Canvas feature only appears on the smartphone, so you won’t have to worry about disabling videos on your Spotify desktop app.
- In the Spotify app, go to “Your Library.”
- Click on the gear-shaped Settings icon.
- Once in Settings, select “Playback.”
- Scroll until you see an option for Canvas.
- If Canvas has already been enabled, click to toggle off.
If, for some reason, this doesn’t work, enable Data Saver on your phone. Doing this will prevent Canvas video playback. It is a less recommended solution as it will interfere with other settings on your phone, but works nonetheless.
Change Canvas Playback Settings as Artist
If you’re one of the lucky artists using Canvas, you may already know how to upload your videos. Spotify allows you to manage your videos from both your desktop and smartphone. In case you are new to the feature, this is how it works.
If You Are On a Desktop
- Log in to Spotify for Artists.
- Go to Music and choose one of your songs.
- Click “Add Canvas” and select a file to upload.
To disable, or delete, the canvas video, go back to the song in your Spotify for Artists log in. Go to View Canvas > Delete Canvas.
If You Are On an iPhone or Android
- Log in to your Spotify for Artists account and navigate to your profile.
- Click the ‘+’ icon next to the song for which you want to add the video.
- Upload and select “Add Canvas.”
To remove or change the video, while logged into your account, select “icon play” next to the song. Tap edit to either delete or change your Canvas.
It’s okay to hate Canvas as a listener, even if your favorite artist loves it. Developers have made it, so you aren’t forced to watch the looped videos. They also promise the feature has a low-impact on battery life and data, just in case you can’t get to the settings right away.