Launched in 2019, Spotify Canvas has quickly become a go-to tool for musicians using the streaming platform to distribute their music. Lasting just a few seconds long and intended to be played on loop, this short-term content blurs the line between a conventional music video and album art.
However, they’re more than just a flashy gimmick. With the right Canvas video at your disposal, you can give your music a fighting chance at being heard by more people. Listeners are far more likely to engage with a track if they see a Canvas video. When you consider that Spotify has 210 million premium subscribers, it’s easy to see why keeping this online audience happy makes sense. Never used this feature before? Clueless about Spotify Canvas specs? Read on for everything you need to know.
What Is Spotify Canvas?
Spotify Canvas is a useful feature for artists looking to enhance their audio content in the streaming age. With this feature, artists can add a short video clip to accompany every one of their tracks. These clips can be anywhere from 3-8 seconds long and are looped for the duration of a song.
With more than 11 million artists on Spotify alone, standing out from the crowd has never been more important. As well as making your music more visually appealing, these clips can be used to enhance the listening experience. Although the runtime for these clips is pretty limiting, it’s easy to boost your branding and visual identity with some creative thinking.
Benefits of Using Spotify Canvas for Independent Musicians
It’s tempting to dismiss features like Spotify Canvas as a passing trend. However, short-form video is a great way of building your brand. Although you’re restricted to a few seconds, it’s simple enough to incorporate your signature colors, brand logos, and album artwork. Anything visual you want to associate with your music can be used here.
A great song should tell a story. While the lyrics and music should speak for themselves, some visual reinforcement will go a long way. With just a few key frames, you can hammer home the message and meaning behind your material.
Engaging and Connecting With the Listener
If you need any convincing that Canvas videos are crucial for music promotion on Spotify, you only need to look at the data unveiled by Spotify itself. With Canvas videos, you can increase track shares by up to 145%. For playlist ads, the increase can be as high as 20%. Meanwhile, streams and profile visits benefit from an upswing of 5% and 9% respectively. This might seem small, but when you consider you’re only producing an eight-second video, the gains are staggering.
By giving your listeners another form of media to engage with, you stand a better chance of maintaining their attention and encouraging them to come back for more.
Spotify Canvas in Action
It’s not just independent artists with limited resources who use Spotify Canvas, with many high-profile musicians taking advantage of the feature. To promote the release of her 2020 album Future Nostalgia, Dua Lipa used an animated Canvas campaign to introduce her new tracks.
To spotlight the release of his fourteenth album Hyperspace, American musician Beck went for an out-of-this-world approach by pairing up with NASA. For his Spotify Canvas campaign, Beck used looped visuals captured from the International Space Station itself.
For unsigned artists, Spotify’s Discovery Mode is incredibly handy. This mode is responsible for more than 16 billion new artist discoveries every month. By attaching rich content like Canvas videos to their tracks, artists stand a much better chance at turning a non-committal listener into a dedicated fan.
How To Create an Effective Spotify Canvas
Putting together a video that only lasts a few seconds might seem simple enough. However, Spotify Canvas requirements are pretty specific.
For starters, you’ll need to consider Spotify Canvas dimensions. Videos should have a 9:16 vertical ratio and be a minimum of 720 pixels high. You also need to think about file formats. While you’re free to upload JPEG files, MP4 is the preferred format for many.
Creating a Canvas video isn’t that difficult, but actually producing a video that resonates with audiences is something else entirely. For best results, you’ll need the right tools at your disposal. With IndieFlow’s Instant Video Maker, you have everything you need to create captivating videos in no time.
Design Tips for Maximum Impact
You’ve only got a few frames to work with, so choosing the right content for your Canvas creator project is important. Before uploading a video, make sure you own the rights to all material contained within. The last thing you want to deal with is a copyright infringement claim should a new track catch fire.
What’s more, try and avoid performance footage. Anything with singing or talking that doesn’t perfectly sync with an audio track is going to look strange. It’s tempting to turn to rapid cuts and flashy imagery when editing, but these can prove incredibly distracting. Sometimes, the simplest videos will make the biggest impact.
You can also play around with different looping techniques. Continuous looping is the standard, but this can leave your videos looking like glorified GIFs. Using hard cuts is another option, but you’ll need to spend a bit more time in the edit. Finally, there’s the rebound looping technique. Once your video reaches the end of its timeline, it will simply loop in reverse.
Try not to overload your Canvas videos with too much detail. You’ll instantly want to add song titles and artist names, but this information will already be visible elsewhere on Spotify.
Real-World Success Stories
It’s not just Grammy award-winning artists who’ve had success with Spotify Canvas. Many emerging musicians have also leveraged this powerful tool to its full potential. Alt-funk band Magic City Hippies were early adopters of Spotify Canvas. To reach out to as many listeners as possible, the band took advantage of the full suite of Spotify for Artists tools. Alongside Canvas and Marquee, the trio also turned to Discovery Mode to give their tracks an algorithm edge.
Implementing Spotify Canvas in Your Music Marketing Strategy
Ready to unlock the potential of Spotify Canvas for yourself? Once you’ve created a Canvas video, the process of uploading them and attaching them to your tracks is surprisingly straightforward.
If you’re using a desktop, you’ll need to do the following:
- Open your Spotify for Artists account
- Click on ‘Music’
- Select the relevant track
- Select ‘Add Canvas’
On mobile devices, uploading a Canvas video is a little different:
- Download the latest version of the Spotify for Artists app
- Send the Canvas video to your device and save it to your device library
- Launch the app
- Select your track
- Select ‘Add Canvas’
No matter what type of device you’re using, you’ll need to ensure you have admin access in order to add a Canvas video. What’s more, you’ll need to be the main artist listed on the track.
Integration with Social Media and Promotional Campaigns
A great Canvas video won’t just appeal to Spotify listeners. You can also use your video content to reach fans using other platforms with creative promotional strategies.
Your tracks can be linked to your Instagram Stories by yourself or your listeners. Once a track has been linked, your Canvas will be visible in the background. What’s more, all track details and a direct link to Spotify will be displayed.
If you use other social media channels such as Twitter to promote your music, you’ll need to think more creatively. If you’re particularly proud of a new Canvas video, tease its arrival to Spotify with a well-timed Tweet. As Canvas videos are on the short side, you don’t want to give too much away in these posts. Instead, share a single frame or a behind-the-scenes tidbit to stir up interest.
Make Your Music More Compelling with Spotify Canvas
If your tracks are feeling a little flat, Spotify Canvas is one way to spice things up on the world’s most popular subscription-based streaming platform. As you only have to fill a few seconds, Spotify Canvas snippets are far easier to produce than a music video. As well as making your content stand out, Canvas videos also deliver actual conversions. You can expect more shares of your music, an upswing in profile visits, and a great number of streams.
You can even fold your Canvas videos into a larger music marketing campaign. They can appear on Instagram Stories when linked to the social media juggernaut, exposing your music to millions of new listeners.
Although there are a few technical specs to remember when creating Canvas videos, it’s one of the easiest methods of enriching what’s already there. You don’t even need any recording or editing equipment with the right Canvas marker tool at your disposal. With IndieFlow’s Instant Video Maker, putting together an on-brand Canvas video couldn’t be simpler.