News December 14, 2020

More animation features added to Apple Music & YouTube Music

More animation features added to Apple Music & YouTube Music

Both Apple Music and YouTube Music are offering more animation features.

Apple Music is expected to introduce animated album covers this week, after already introducing it in the beta versions of iOS 14.3 and macOS 11.1.

Pearl Jam’s Gigaton, Big Sean’s Detroit 2 and Future Utopia’s 12 Questions are among those who got the treatment.

Gigaton’s shows a waterfall cascading realistically over a cliff.

The covers are created and paid for by the artists and their record labels, which suggests that not all artists will get the treatment.

The initiative does, however, bring the spotlight back to album covers – which hit their peak during the vinyl era but have been becoming less significant in the smaller CD format and the thumbnail depiction on digital.

Apple which introduced animated playlists with iOS 13 like Get Up! Mix, Favourites Mix and New Music Mix, featured animated magazine covers on Apple News+.

Spotify’s Canvas feature plays a looping animation or video on selected songs.

Meanwhile, YouTube Music users disappointed with sketchy thumbnails when looking specifically for a live performance or video now have animated video thumbnails as they scroll.

As Android Police states, the feature has been intermittently offered in the past but it seems to be now permanent. Users can disable it quickly if they find it irritating.

However a report from Best SEO Companies in October 2020 about the appeal of thumbnails found that thumbnails which feature stills from the video or images get more views than those with animation.

The study emphasised that a great thumbnail is crucial to the success of a video. The ones that work the best feature characters or people, with bold backgrounds and multi-colours.

For creators they are an extension of their brand and aesthetic.

72% of the most popular thumbnails include a face and get significantly more views thumbnails without faces.

Among the most popular videos, 70% feature thumbnails with titles or explanatory text.

Videos that showed negative emotion, such as anger, disgust, or fear had a greater drawing power than thumbnails portraying positive emotions.

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