You know when you play a song on Spotify and you see a short looping video? Yeah, that’s a Spotify Canvas.
This post is all about creating and uploading a Canvas for your songs on Spotify. I’ll go through the requirements, dimensions, tips from Spotify to increase engagement, and the nitty-gritty of setting up your Canvas.
What Is Spotify Canvas?
Spotify Canvas is a 3-8 second looping video that plays when someone streams your song. You can make a different Canvas for each of your tracks on Spotify, which can give each track a life of its own.
Why Should You Care?
Before doing research for this article, I always thought Spotify Canvases were cool, but like…so what? Isn’t it just another marketing/branding gimmick? As it turns out, no. Canvases can do a lot for your performance on Spotify. Last month at CRS in Nashville, Spotify’s Soy Kim offered some convincing stats for artists and managers who who were thinking about adding Canvases to their tracks.
For starters, a high-quality Canvas increases the engagement fans have with your music. Specifically, here’s what happens with tracks that have a Canvas, according to Spotify:
- 145% more likely to get track shares
- 20% more likely to get added to playlists
- 9% more likely that fans will visit your profile
- 5% increase in streams
- 1.4% more likely fans will save your song
Plus, when you or anyone else shares your song on Instagram, the Canvas will appear automatically, making your post more engaging.
(Excuse me while I go make a Canvas for each of my songs on Spotify…)
How To Create a Spotify Canvas (Specs and Best Practices)
Alright, so how do you actually make a good-looking and engaging Canvas?
Spotify Canvas Specs
First, here are the Spotify Canvas requirements. You have to follow these for Spotify to accept it:
- Dimensions: 9:16 ratio (vertical)
- File format: MP4 or JPG
- Pixel size: at least 720px
- Length: 3-8 seconds
If you use graphics in your Canvas, they may not appear on some phones if they’re outside the Safe Area.
Also, according to Spotify’s content policy, your Canvas cannot include:
- Dangerous content
- Deceptive content
- Sensitive content
- Illegal content
- Promotional content
How To Make Your Spotify Canvas Engaging
According to Spotify, here’s how to make your Canvas engaging…
- Don’t put your artist name and song title in the video (they will already appear in the Now Playing view)
- Don’t use footage that has talking, singing, or rapping
- Don’t use videos with flashing or rapid video cuts because that can overwhelm the listener/viewer
- Try to tell a full story within the 3-8 seconds
- Some phones may cut off the edges of the Canvas, so keep the most important parts centered
Spotify has three main types of Canvases they recommend using:
- Continuous Loop: has a seamless loop, where listeners can’t tell where it begins and ends
- Hard Cut: has clear edit points (you can get creative with your edits)
- Rebound: plays your clip forward, then backward
Need a Spotify Canvas template?
I found three Spotify Canvas makers that have templates, and they’re free…
Really, they all do the same thing. It’s just a matter of picking the one that’s easiest for you to use and/or has templates you like.
How To Upload Your Spotify Canvas
How do you turn on Canvas for your songs? The above video explains very clearly how to upload your Canvas, but I also listed the steps below:
- In your Spotify for Artists account (app or browser), go to your Music tab
- Click on the song you want to add a Canvas to
- Click the “Create Canvas” button (“Add Canvas” on the browser)
- Click the + sign
- Upload your video
- In the Spotify for Artists app, you can trim the length of your video (must be 3-8 seconds)
- Hit “Agree & Post”
From there, listeners will be able to see the Canvas within the hour. To change or edit your Canvas, follow these same steps ‒ you’ll just see an “Edit Canvas” button instead.
Spotify Canvas Not Working?
If your Canvas isn’t working, here’s what you can do:
- Make sure your video meets the Canvas specs, requirements, and doesn’t include anything that’s not allowed (see previous sections for more info)
- It can take an hour from the time you upload your video for it to appear publicly
- Remember that Canvas only shows in the Spotify app
- Check to see that your phone works with Canvas here
- In the Spotify app settings, make sure the Data Server is switched off
- In the Playback section of the Spotify app settings, make sure Canvas is switched on
- Canvas is only available in certain countries ‒ here’s the full list
Growing Your Spotify Following
Adding a Canvas to your tracks can definitely help improve your performance on Spotify, which means you can potentially get more streams, more followers, and more engagement from listeners.
I’m saying this to myself too: go create a Spotify Canvas for each of your songs, at least your most recent ones.