Over the last year, you may have noticed short visuals looping on your Spotify Now Playing screen. This is what they’re calling the “Spotify Canvas” – the album artwork for the streaming age. For a while now they were exclusively available to major labels but recently Spotify announced that they were unlocking it for all artists. So if you haven’t already, you can get one now!
In This Article
I’m happy to announce that I’ve now added “Spotify Canvas” as an extra to my lyric video production services. If you already have your Spotify Canvas, you can skip to the next step to see how you can publish it.
If you’re taking the do-it-yourself route for your Spotify Canvas creation, one of the first things you’ll need to know is the appropriate size, resolution, and aspect ratio.
The general tips I covered in YouTube video rendering settings still apply. However, Spotify Canvas utilizes a vertical layout, contrary to the traditional horizontal aspect ratio of 16:9 used for most video content like on YouTube.
Why is this important? If you use the wrong aspect ratio, your Canvas might get rejected, or otherwise your visuals might not display correctly. They could appear stretched or squashed, or important parts of your visuals could be cropped out.
In terms of resolution, Spotify guidelines recommend a minimum resolution of 720 pixels wide (720p). However, considering the high-resolution displays of most modern smartphones, I suggest aiming for a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels, often referred to as 1080p.
Using a higher resolution ensures that your Spotify Canvas looks crisp and clear, even on devices with high-resolution screens. Remember, a pixelated or blurry Canvas can detract from your listener’s experience.
One common pitfall to avoid is setting up your project in the wrong aspect ratio or resolution and then having to adjust it later. This can result in a loss of quality and require additional work to fit your visuals correctly.
By adhering to these size and dimension guidelines from the outset, you’re on your way to creating a visually pleasing Spotify Canvas that can enhance your listeners’ experience.
Remember, the key to a successful Spotify Canvas is not just about adhering to the technical specifications. It’s about creating engaging, eye-catching visuals that reflect your music and brand. So be creative, and happy creating!
One of the most common questions about Spotify Canvases is about their duration. Spotify Canvases are designed to be short, looping visuals that complement your music, and their length should be between 3 to 8 seconds.
But why this specific range?
Spotify has chosen this range to balance the need for creative expression with the technical constraints of streaming content. Shorter visuals (under 3 seconds) may not provide enough time to convey a meaningful or engaging visual message. On the other hand, longer visuals (over 8 seconds) could lead to slower load times and a less smooth user experience due to the increased data demands.
If you’re creating a Spotify Canvas, aim to use as much of the 8-second limit as possible. This will give you more time to create a compelling visual narrative. But remember, if your Spotify Canvas is exactly 8 seconds long and you encounter an upload error, try reducing the duration by a split second. This is a common issue that artists run into, and a slightly shorter Canvas should upload without problems.
When it comes to text, Spotify says if used, they have to be relevant to the track. That means links, call-to-action, hashtags, or social media handles are not allowed. Bear in mind that Spotify Canvas is not about blatant self-promotion but building branding. Think of it as more of a long-term investment in your artistic image. At a time when where we’re bombarded with clickbait and hashtags all day long, I think it was a really good move to dedicate these 8 seconds entirely to art.
In the world of music, it’s not just about the sound; it’s also about the visuals. A captivating lyric video can be a powerful tool to elevate your music promotion strategy. Why?
Firstly, lyric videos can significantly improve engagement. They provide a visual element that keeps listeners on your page longer, interacting with your music. The combination of hearing the song and seeing the lyrics can help listeners connect more deeply with your music.
Secondly, lyric videos increase shareability. People love to share compelling, high-quality content. A well-crafted lyric video can be a piece of content fans are excited to share on social media, extending the reach of your music.
Now that you have created your Spotify Canvas, it’s time to actually get it on Spotify. Head on over to your Spotify for Artist account and navigate to the Music tab. If you don’t have an account, then I strongly suggest getting one. It gives you the option to customize your artist page on Spotify and take advantage of the numerous tools Spotify provides including today’s focus, the Spotify Canvas.
Once you’re on the music tab, find the song you’d like to add the Canvas to and click on it. If the song is not yet released, you can find it under the “upcoming” tab. On the top right corner, you should now see the newly featured “Add Canvas” button. Once opened, you’ll have the option to upload and preview your Spotify Canvas. Make sure it looks good then click next and publish it. In my experience, it should be live within a few minutes.
Though this guide is written with the web in mind, the procedure for publishing a Spotify Canvas is exactly the same through the Spotify for Artists mobile app.
Uploading your Spotify Canvas should be a straightforward process, but occasionally, you might encounter some obstacles. Here are solutions to some common issues:
Ensure your canvas meets the required specifications. It should have a 9:16 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels. If your canvas doesn’t meet these specifications, it might fail to upload. Adjust the size or aspect ratio of your Canvas and try uploading it again.
The duration of your Spotify Canvas should be between 3 to 8 seconds. If your Canvas is exactly 8 seconds long and fails to upload, it could be due to Spotify’s strict timing requirements. Try shortening your Canvas by a fraction of a second and attempt the upload again.
Spotify Canvas supports specific file types, primarily .mp4 and .jpeg. If your Canvas is saved in an unsupported format, it won’t upload. Check the file type of your Canvas and, if needed, convert it to a supported format before uploading.
Sometimes, the problem could be as simple as a poor internet connection. If you’re confident your Canvas meets all the requirements and it still won’t upload, check your internet connection. If your connection is unstable, wait until it stabilizes before trying to upload your Canvas again.
Remember, each issue has a solution, so don’t get discouraged if you encounter problems. With a bit of troubleshooting, you’ll have your Spotify Canvas up and running in no time!
I mentioned earlier that the Spotify Canvas is not a direct marketing tool and should not be used for self-promotion. At least not in an obvious way. That said, Spotify does make some interesting claims about tracks that have Canvas added. On a site they dedicated to Spotify Canvas, they advertise that tracks with canvas are 5% more likely to keep playing than a control group, 20% more likely to be added to a playlist, 9% more likely to lead to a visit the artist’s page, 1.4% more likely to be saved to the listener’s library, and perhaps most impressively, a whopping 145% more likely for the song to be shared.
Speaking of sharing, another great advantage of Spotify Canvas is that the tracks that have one will display the canvas instead of a static artwork image when shared to Instagram stories.
Considering how difficult it can be to reach new listeners, doubling the shares of your next release can be a game-changer for artists. This is further supported by artists who are willing to place Facebook Ads for promoting their music on Spotify. And although I think those numbers will probably decline once the new feature charm wears off, I still strongly recommend getting a Spotify Canvas for your releases.
Promote Your Music with a Lyric Video!