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If you’re well connected, or very lucky after submitting an application — you might get an invite to try the beta for Spotify Canvas. Even though it’s almost standard among the mainstream artists, it still (as of writing, 2020-01-31) is technically a private beta and only accessible after receiving a personal invite from Spotify. After you’ve received the invite, you will notice some changes in your Spotify for Artists backend. They’re subtle, but still obvious.

Apply for Canvas here.

Changes in Spotify for Artists

For all your releases, there’ll be an “Edit Canvas” or “Add Canvas” button available, and under the ‘Music’ tab you’ll see a new metric; views. This should not be mixed up with streams, as it has a completely different meaning.

  • A stream is counted everytime someone listens to 30 seconds or more of one of your tracks, on any Spotify-connected device.
  • A view is counted everytime someone sees your canvas — meaning they’re on mobile, with the Spotify app open and actively selecting your song.

 

 

How to make a Canvas

So here’s a secret: Spotify takes your canvas into account when pitching for editorial playlists, and if you’ve gotten access to canvas you already have fans in their editorial staff — which means they’re watching for more releases from you. This means that if got canvas after your last release, your next drop should be the best thing you’ve ever made — and it should have the biggest baddest canvas of them all.

While there’s no official sources on what Spotify likes in terms of canvas, there’s some guidelines, best practices and policies that lay down the ground rules:

  • Legally compliant. Make your Canvas your own. Be sure you have the correct permissions if you use media that isn’t your own.
  • Appropriate for Spotify. This means the Canvas should not be hateful, abusive, pornographic, threatening, or obscene.
  • Promotional Content. Please follow these guidelines when creating your Canvas:
    • Any text used in your Canvas must be relevant to the track. Don’t 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).
    • Don’t reference dates that aren’t directly tied to the contents of the track. This includes release, tour, or promotional dates or times.

Technical specifications

  • Ratio: 9:16
  • Height: At least 720px
  • Length: 3 secs – 8 secs
  • File Format: MP4 or JPG only

Best practices

  • Focus on seamless loops. (source)
  • Consider excluding your song title and artist name as they’ll already appear in the Now Playing view.
  • Choose footage without talking, singing, or rapping.
  • Avoid rapid video cuts or intense flashing graphics that may overwhelm your listeners/viewers
  • Consider how to tell a full story within 3 – 8 seconds. Trimmed down music videos and incomplete stories can leave fans expecting more.

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