Musicians Guide To Using Spotify’s Canvas For Cool Video Features

As users of the platform may have seen in action, Spotify Canvas allows artists to upload 3-8 second long looping videos to accompany their music. Here, we look at how to get the most out of this particular branding tool!

By Chris Robley of the DIY Musician Blog

CD Baby artists can now access Spotify Canvas to add looping visuals to your songs

Spotify Canvas is a feature that allows you to upload 3-8 second looping videos for each of your tracks on Spotify. CD Baby is really excited to get you access to this visual branding tool on Spotify, because it has proven to draw listeners deeper into the music.

Spotify claims that beta testing of high-quality Canvases increased:

  • track shares by an average of 145%
  • playlist adds by 20%
  • streams by 5%
  • and profile visits by 9%

Given that video can stir a more immediate and high-impact emotional connection, this all makes sense. At the very least, adding a Spotify Canvas for each of your tracks shows you’re serious about your music. Why wouldn’t you make use of ALL the real estate Spotify provides?

You should now (or very soon) have access to Spotify Canvas

CD Baby is thrilled to announce that we’ve worked with Spotify to get you access to Spotify Canvas today!

If you’re a verified Spotify artist distributing through CD Baby, you should automatically see the option for Canvas within your Spotify for Artists dashboard. If you don’t currently see Canvas there, just hold tight. Since this feature was activated for all our clients today, it could take a sec to roll out to every CD Baby artist

How to create an engaging Spotify Canvas

Spotify offers these helpful suggestions when you’re shooting or editing the looped video that will accompany your track:

  1. Avoid footage with talking, rapping, or singing. Your looped video will not be synced to the music, so any mouth movements will be distracting.
  2. No frenetic cuts or flashing effects. The idea is to draw someone in, not give them a stroke.
  3. Keep the action centered. Player controls may appear over the lower half of the screen, so the most important stuff should be in the center or slightly higher.
  4. Spotify Canvas is a vertical video format. You have to upload a video with a 9:16 aspect ratio. You can’t edit the framing within Spotify for Artists.
  5. No artist, track, or album names. Those things are already viewable to listeners.
  6. Tell a story. Short-form video platforms like Instagram Reels and TikTok show that you can deliver a powerful punch in a matter of seconds.
  7. Tell a bigger story. Upload Canvases for each song on an album that speak to one another or progress along a timeline.
  8. Amplify your brand consistency. Make your Canvases fit in with your other visuals on Spotify, such as the profile picture and header image.
  9. Switch your Canvases whenever. You can change a song’s Canvas any time, so think of ways to make it interactive and dynamic.
  10. Experiment with different kinds of loops. Spotify defines them as:
    • The Continuous Loop – “has the satisfying feel of a seamless looping GIF with no clear beginning or end.”
    • The Hard Cut loop – “has clear edit points that can be artfully disguised.”
    • The Rebound – “plays your clip forward and then reverses it.”

How to access Spotify Canvas

Specifications for Spotify Canvas videos

Your Spotify Canvas should meet these requirements:

  • 9:16 ratio (vertical)
  • At least 720px tall
  • An MP4 or JPEG file
  • 3s to 8s long (MP4 only)
Example of a Spotify Canvas creation

Check your Spotify Canvas views

Once you’re granted access to Canvas you’ll be able to see how many people viewed your videos on Spotify. A column for views appears within the MUSIC tab of your Spotify for Artists account.

If a significant percentage of listeners are also watching your Canvases, you’ll know your efforts are paying off. If hardly anyone is watching them, you might need to step up your video efforts or put your energy elsewhere.

How to upload a Spotify Canvas for your track

Once you’ve created a video that meets Spotify’s requirements, you can upload it as a Canvas within Spotify for Artists. The process is similar on both mobile and desktop. Since most artists will encounter this feature in mobile first, I’ve outlined those steps below.

Mobile view for uploading a Spotify Canvas to your music track

1. Select the appropriate track within Spotify for Artists!

Selecting a track from your artist profile

2. Click the + for the right song.

Selecting artwork

3. Choose a video from your camera roll (or drag and drop a video from desktop).

Selecting and editing a video segment

4. Trim the video to between 3-8 seconds.

Trimming a video

5. Review your Canvas and click Next to upload.

Reviewing and confirming that your Spotify Canvas is ready to use

6. Verify you have the right to post this video content, and then share your Canvas on social!

How to hire a video pro to help you create a Spotify Canvas

Spotify’s SoundBetter program (a collaboration marketplace that makes it easier for you to hire mixers, session players, or producers) has now added Canvas Design as a category! So you can find a skilled videographer, animator, or designer to help you make compelling Canvas content for Spotify.

Where is Spotify Canvas NOT available yet?

Spotify Canvas is available in many territories. However, Canvas is NOT available to consumers in the following countries:

  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Belarus
  • Kazakhstan
  • Moldova
  • Algeria
  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • India

Canvas gives you an exciting way to say more about yourself on Spotify

Now you know how to create and upload short videos that bring listeners closer to your music on Spotify. In order to use Canvas though, you first need to become a verified artist on Spotify. CD Baby makes Spotify artist verification fast and simple.

As a CD Baby client, once you’ve claimed your Spotify for Artists account, you should see Spotify Canvas as an option. Have fun!

Chris Robley is the Editor of CD Baby’s DIY Musician Blog. I write Beatlesque indie-pop songsthat’ve been praised by No Depression, KCRW, The LA Times, & others. My poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, Prairie Schooner, The Poetry Review, & more. I live in Maine and like peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, a little too much.

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