If you've ever watched a song flash to life with a looping video or animation in the Spotify app, then you're already familiar with Spotify Canvas. The tool allows artists to add a new visual dimension to their music with 3-8 second looping videos that play any time listeners stream a designated tracks.
Spotify boasts that Canvas helps artists enhance their songs on the platform and that the "possibilities for storytelling, context, world-building, and audience outreach are enormous." There's numbers backing that claim too. Spotify data shows that when listeners see a Canvas they are 5% more likely to listen to a track longer, 145% more likely to share a track, and 20% more likely to add that track to a playlist.
With access to Spotify Canvas spreading to more artists, there hasn't been a better time to start experimenting with the format and measuring the impact video has on your streaming figures. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create and download a Spotify Canvas video using a free online editor. Your final video will meet all of the the size and length requirements for uploading to Spotify for Artists.
- Open the Spotify Canvas Maker in Kapwing.
- Upload a video or GIF to feature in your canvas
- Resize your video and adjust the length
- Download your Spotify Canvas from Kapwing
- Upload your Canvas video to Spotify for Artists
Step 1: Open the Spotify Canvas Maker in Kapwing
One of the most important aspects of creating a Spotify Canvas is making sure your video meets the required size dimensions and is between 3-8 seconds in length. You can create a video that automatically meets these requirements by using our free Spotify Canvas Maker.
Spotify Canvas videos must meet the following specifications to get accepted on the platform:
Height: At least 720 px
Length: 3-8 seconds
File Format: MP4 or JPG only
Step 2: Upload a video or GIF to feature in your canvas
With the Spotify Canvas Maker open, you're ready to add the looping visual your listeners will see when they stream your song. Spotify clearly states that you must be the legal owner of any footage used in your canvas and it may not feature any promotional content.
If you want a visual for your canvas, but don't have the time to go out and shoot something yourself, I suggest using stock video or license free animation found online. Use the "Videos" tab in Kapwing to search through synthwave animations or other videos that match the mood and vibe of your song.
You can also import stock video from any other website. In my example, I included footage from this playlist of free Synthwave Animations.
Another common tactic for artists and musicians is using animated text for their Canvas video. Use the "Animate" tab for an image or text layer to bring motion into the title of the song or the artist.
Using your own footage, even some shot on your phone, is also a great solution to finding the right video for your Spotify Canvas. Your canvas appears in lieu of traditional album art, and that gives you an opportunity as an artist to get right in front of your audience.
Try filming a few short videos of you or your bandmates standing together or moving around a bit. A selfie-style video can add the perfect amount of personality to one of your songs and even helps listeners put a face to the voice. In the example below, I filmed a video of myself walking out of my front door and into my backyard.
Spotify has written a fairly exhaustive list of canvas best practices and I'd definitely recommend giving it a look before finalizing your video selection.
Once you've got the perfect clip for your song, click the Upload button in the Canvas maker to add it to your project. You can upload the video or GIF directly from your device or paste a link from YouTube to pull that footage straight into your canvas.
Step 3: Resize your video and adjust the length
Your video will upload to the Canvas Maker at its original size and length. That means you'll have to resize it and potentially trim it down to meet Spotify's requirements.
If your video uploads in a widescreen 16:9 format, you can adjust it to the proper size by selecting your video and clicking the Fill button on the right side of the screen. With your video selected, click on the blue handles to drag the clip and fill out the vertical 9:16 frame.
The last step before putting the finishing touches on your Spotify Canvas video is to trim your footage down to somewhere between 3-8 seconds in length.
In the timeline, slide the start and end time to change when the video will start and end. Or, use the "Split" button to splice the clip and delete the sections before and after the part you want to include.
If you have a particular point in the video that you'd like to feature in your loop, you can also use the timing tab to enter an exact timestamp where you want your video to start and stop.
Step 4: Download your Spotify Canvas from Kapwing
With your Spotify Canvas video trimmed down and resized, you're ready to download the file and add it to your Spotify for Artists account. When you're finished, click the Export button in the top right corner of the screen.
Kapwing will take a few moments to process your video. You're safe to close this browser tab or continue surfing the web or doing other work while you wait. When the video is done processing, you'll be taken to a final video screen to preview your video before saving it. If you are happy with the look of your video, click the Download button to instantly save your Spotify Canvas to your device.
Step 5: Upload your Canvas video to Spotify for Artists
It's time to send your canvas up to Spotify and get it added to a song. When you're ready to upload your canvas video, head over to Spotify for Artists and click the Music tab.
Next, select a song from your catalogue and click Add Canvas. You'll now be able to upload your video directly from your computer or mobile device. You can remove or change a track's canvas at anytime by going that song in your music tab and tapping View Canvas.
That's all there is to it. Time to go out and start adding canvas videos to all of your tracks on Spotify. Please remember this tutorial when you're on stage accepting your Grammy one day and give us a shoutout @KapwingApp. In the meantime, we'll keep an eye out for you in our Discover Weekly.