In this video we’re going to take a good look at Spotify Canvas as well as signing up for the beta.

Spotify Canvas is basically a video element you can add to tracks on Spotify.

You might have seen these types of videos if you’re a Spotify user. I kind of thought they were playing the whole music video for the track at first, and I was worried they were killing my battery on the move, but they’re actually just short 8 second looped videos.

Spotify Canvas Example

They only appear on mobile so there doesn’t seem to be any integration with the browser or desktop versions of Spotify which makes sense as the format is designed for portrait view.

Let’s have a look at how to sign up for the beta as well as have a deeper look at how Spotify thinks it’ll help keep our listeners listening.

How to Sign Up to the Beta

Head on over to canvas.spotify.com where you should see a big ‘Join Now’ button.

Spotify Canvas Join Now
Spotify Canvas Join Now

Just before we go ahead and click on it though, be aware that when you eventually get access to Spotify Canvas, you’ll need to have a Spotify for Artists account as you’ll be adding these videos to your tracks through there, so make sure you’re all signed up for that otherwise you can’t sign up for the beta.

If you don’t have an account yet, just scroll to the bottom of this page and click on that Join Now button to get started. I also have a couple of videos all about that if you need a bit of a guide.

Presuming we’re all signed up, let’s click on the button at the top. We’ll then be taken to another page where we’ll be prompted to add some information.

It’ll ask you for your Spotify Artist URI which can find by visiting your profile in Spotify, then clicking on the three dotted-button next to your name, then Share and Copy Spotify URI. Paste that in and hit Enter.

Next up it’ll ask for your name, which is your actual name, not your artist or band name.

And finally, you email address associated to your Spotify for Artists account. And that’s it, you just have to sit there with your fingers crossed like me, waiting.

Features

Now that’s all done, let’s have a look at what it’s all about. Spotify has laid out three key points this feature has to offer so let’s have a look through them.

Spotify Canvas Key Points
Spotify Canvas Key Points

1. Get Noticed

So, they’re saying more people are watching or streaming these tracks because of the canvas video. I kind of think that’s a little bit odd as it’s on your mobile and you’d still expect it to be a passive experience as people mostly listen (I thought anyway) on the move.

But maybe these stats prove there are more people out there just sitting off watching the screen as they play music, and this actually keeps these people a little bit more engaged.

2. Build a Vision

Thinking about it, you can get really creative with this, perhaps telling a visual story over the course of the release. Just think about it as an extension of your art.

3. Change it Up

I like the idea that it’s not a ‘set in stone’ process and you can actually swap them out. Maybe you’re inspired to go seasonal or highlight a new vision for your music. There’s a lot to think about there, lots of scope to keep it interesting.

Moving on, they’ve provided some visual examples you can go scroll through which you can filter by type. I particularly like some of the 2D graphic types here as I just think the more cleaner and subtle they are, the more they add to the experience rather than take over it.

Spotify Canvas Examples
Spotify Canvas Examples

Uploading a Spotify Canvas

Moving on to the finer details, we’re shown how we’ll be able to upload the Canvas through the Mobile or Desktop app which is pretty convenient.

I can imagine some artists would like the idea of recording say, the audience at a gig or whatever and immediately uploading that video as Spotify Canva videos on tracks.

Spotify Canvas Upload Details
Spotify Canvas Upload Details

There are some tips on Best Practices which includes excluding titles and not talking. It’s all common-sense stuff really when you think about the length of time the video will actually loop for.

It’s definitely worth noting the Content Policy tips as they basically rule out types of content you can’t post, which is pretty obvious for most of us but still worth a look before you think about making any!

And lastly, we have the Specifications information which show you the correct format for the canvas video. I’m not going to delve into that in this video as I’m going to wait until I get access to Canvas so I can actually go through making one from scratch. Then I’ll also dig into things like metrics and tips.

So, expect a follow up video at some point where I’ll go through the procedure of making one from scratch and uploading it etc.

Conclusions

And there you have it, that’s Spotify Canvas, and I have to say I’m excited to ‘one day’ eventually get access to it.

I think it’s a good move for Spotify as it enables us to add a little more creative weight to let’s just say, a pretty bland tracklist presentation. It’s a step closer to when we’d sit off listening to music with the album artwork in our hands whether it be from vinyl, cassette, cd or whatever. (show me looking at artwork, something bad and grinning weirdly)

If you think about it there’s a lot of things you could do with this. As well as using it to show short music video snippets, you could use it to highlight your top fans in collage type video, giving something back to them, making sure it doesn’t break policy rules, obviously. I can’t wait to have access and have a play around.

 



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