You know when you’re listening to a song on Spotify and you see a short video looping? Yeah, it’s a Spotify Canvas.
This article is about creating and uploading a canvas for your songs on Spotify. I’ll go over requirements, dimensions, Spotify’s tips for increasing engagement, and the practicalities 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 create 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 was cool, but like…so what? Isn’t this just another marketing/branding gimmick? As it turns out, no. Canvases can do a lot for your performance on Spotify.
A high quality canvas increases fan engagement with your music. Specifically, here’s what happens with tracks that have a scrim, according to Spotify:
- 145% more likely to get lead shares
- 20% more likely to be added to playlists
- 9% more likely that fans will visit your profile
- 5% increase in flows
- 1.4% more fans will record your song
Also, when you or someone else shares your song on Instagram, the canvas automatically appears, which makes your post more engaging.
(Excuse me while I’m going to make a Canvas for each of my songs on Spotify…)
How to Create a Spotify Canvas (Specifications and Best Practices)
Alright, so how do you actually make an attractive, attractive canvas?
Spotify Canvas Specifications
First, here are the Spotify Canvas requirements. You must follow these for Spotify to accept:
- Dimensions: 9:16 ratio (vertical)
- File format: MP4 or JPG
- Pixel size: at least 720 px
- Duration: 3-8 seconds
If you use graphics in your canvas, they may not appear on some phones if they are outside the safe zone.
Additionally, per Spotify’s Content Policy, your Canvas cannot include:
- Dangerous content
- Misleading content
- Sensitive content
- Illegal content
- Promotional content
How to Make Your Spotify Canvas Attractive
According to Spotify, here’s how to make your canvas attractive…
- Do not put your artist name and song title in the video (they will already appear in the Now Playing view)
- Don’t use footage that talks, sings or raps
- Do not use videos with flashing or rapid video cuts, as this may overwhelm the listener/viewer
- Try to tell a full story within 3-8 seconds
- Some phones may cut the edges of the canvas, so keep the most important parts centered
Spotify offers three main types of canvas that they recommend using:
- Continuous loop: has a seamless loop, where listeners can’t tell where it starts 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 creators 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 to use and/or has patterns you like.
How to Download Your Spotify Canvas
How do you enable Canvas for your songs? The video above explains very clearly how to upload your Canvas, but I’ve 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 on the + sign
- Upload your video
- In the Spotify for Artists app, you can reduce the length of your video (must be 3-8 seconds)
- Tap “Accept and Publish”
From there, listeners will be able to view the Web 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 Canvas specifications and requirements and doesn’t include anything prohibited (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 up in the Spotify app
- Check that your phone works with Canvas here
- In Spotify app settings, make sure data server is disabled
- In the Playback section of the Spotify app settings, make sure Canvas is enabled
- Canvas is only available in certain countries ‒ here is the full list
Increase your Spotify following
Adding a scrim to your tracks can definitely help boost your performance on Spotify, which means you can potentially get more streams, more followers, and more engagement from listeners.
I also tell myself: go create a Spotify Canvas for each of your songs, at least the most recent ones.