Spotify Canvas Guide

17 Nov 2020

A guide to help you GET NOTICED and express your individuality within the Spotify App.

As of today Spotify will be making its Canvas application available to ALL GYROstream artists. Regularly seen on larger artist profiles, Spotify Canvas is the in-app video feature helping larger artists bring their release artwork to life. When Spotify users visit the ‘Now Playing’ page via their mobiles, the screen explodes into life via a full length, looping video. Since its selective rollout, Spotify have found Canvas to be an integral part in release strategies which can increase streams and saves on your music.

How Can You Make the Most Of Canvas?

Get Noticed – Draw listeners in, via dynamic, attention grabbing looping visuals.

Create Value – Express yourself and expand your story by adding a unique Canvas to your entire catalogue. 

Keep It Fresh – Update/Change the creative. Whether that is once during your release cycle or again and again.

Tell Your Fans – Create something exciting, hide easter eggs, capture attention and drive fans to stream your music via social media. 

Canvas Spec

Canvases are displayed in a vertical format to completely fill in the background of the 'Now Playing' screen.

Ratio                      9:16
Height                   At least 720px
Length                  3 Secs – 8 secs
File Format         MP$ or JPEG only

Canvases are viewed on different types of phones. The Hidden Area will not be visible on taller phones such as the iPhone X or Samsun S9. Additionally, the Player Controls Will Partially obstruct your Canvas at the top and bottom of the screen on all phones.

Anything inside the Safe Area will be clearly visible to all listeners.

Download Spotify’s template to use in your editing software.

 

Content Policy

Keep it PG…

1.   Legally Compliant. Make your Canvas your own. Make sure that you have the correct permissions if you use media that is not your own.

2.   Appropriate for Spotify. This means that the Canvas should not be hateful, abusive, pornographic, threatening, of obscene.

3.   Promotional Content. Please follow these guidelines: Any text used in your Canvas must be relevant to the track. No not use text that could be interpreted as promotional, such as ‘Available Now’, ‘Coming Soon’, or ‘Follow Me’.

URLs and third-party logos are prohibited (Including Spotify’s).

Do not reference dates that not directly tied to the contents of the track. This includes release, tour, or promotional dates or times.

If you violate Spotify’s policies the Canvas will be removed. Please see our prohibited content policies for more information.

 

Best Practice(s)

Here are a couple Hot Tips from streaming service to help you create the ‘Best Experience’ for your fans.

1.   Consider excluding your song title and artists name as they will already appear in the 'Now Playing' view.

2.   Choose footage without talking, singing, or rapping.

3.   Avoid rapid video cuts or intense flashing graphics that may overwhelm your listeners/viewers.

4.   Consider how to tell a full story within 3 – 8 seconds. Trimmed down music videos and incomplete stories can leave fans expecting more.

5.   Remember that graphics along the sides of your Canvas (outside the Safe Area) will not show up on some phones.

Examples:

Seamless Loops – Get Creative - Check out the Continuous, Hard Cut of Rebound effect to make your visual feel seamless

Visual Identity – Strengthen your branding by having your visual identity flowing through your entire album.

Album Narrative – Add a visual per track and share the narrative throughout the album.

Episodes – Update your creative and give fans a reason to check back in or stay up to date with your track.

Moments – On Tour? Give listeners an exclusive look at behind the scenes. Valentine’s Day? Send a message out to your fans. Capture moments.

 

Create Your Canvas

Ok, so you know you have read all the above and got your artwork ready how do you upload it?

Desktop – Spotify’s easiest way to post Canvases across your catalogue.

  • Log in to artists.spotify.com
  • Head to the Catalogue page, click on a song and click ‘Add Canvas’

Remember to only use content you own or have right to use. 

Mobile - The easiest way to create and preview a Canvas.

  • First, make sure your app is updated to the latest version from the App Store (iOS) or Play Store (Android).
  • Either shoot a new video on your phone or email/test a video file to yourself and save it your Photo Library.
  • Jump into the Spotify for Artists app, tap on an album, and then tap on a track.

Remember to only use content you own or have right to use.