We've all seen Spotify Canvases. It's the looping 8 second video that gets shown instead of your album cover in the player view. They obviously look cool, but just ran across some interesting data about adding them to your songs.
The Data About Spotify Canvases
Firstly, Spotify says that songs with a Canvas are 145% more likely to be shared by listeners and 20% more likely to get added to playlists than songs without. Now, correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation – I'm willing to bet that artists that have naturally-engaged fan bases would naturally do all the *extra credit* stuff anyway – but over twice as likely to get shared is nothing to write off.
I kept digging into that stat to figure out to analyze if it's correlation or causation. Spotify also shared on their Fan Study site (very cool site, BTW), that ADDING or updating a Canvas will then BOOST the shares of that track by 10%. So there does seem to be some lift by adding a Canvas.
If I had to guess, the Canvas keeps someone engaged for just a liiiiitle bit longer, during which they might give into the impulse to press the share or save button. Plus if your fans are sharing the song to their IG story, it limits the backing-out-from-posting factor because the story *looks* cooler than just the static album cover on a plain background.
Still, if you want to be an A-plus student, you should be doing all this extra credit stuff because it keeps your head in the game and helps you grow on a meta-level.
How to Upload a Spotify Canvas
You do this by going to your Spotify for Artists and navigating to the song you want to add one for. There will be a giant button for “Add Canvas.”
- 9:16 ratio (vertical)
- At least 720px tall
- An MP4 or JPEG file (why you would want a still JPEG is beyond me)
- 3s to 8s long (MP4 only)
It needs to be exactly under 8 seconds. One frame over and it wont accept it. I usually do 1 frame under 8 seconds if I need the entire length of time available.
Spotify Canvas Ideas
Here are some of the ideas that I've seen work before:
- Animation inspired by the album cover (so it's on brand but has some life to it – check out Run by Jared Jamieson to get an idea)
- An animated version of the album cover (add some moving scratches/flashes of light, lightly wiggle album cover elements)
- Clips from the music video (already matches the song and it's a subtle hint that you have videos to check out)
- Clips from a show (if it looks fun/exciting they'll be interested in coming to a show in the future)
If you have any that have worked well, let me know!
David Ryan Olson
Hey I'm David. I'm a mix engineer and I run Evergreen Records. Thanks for reading this article and feel free to contact us with any questions about persuing music that you have.