NOTE: This tutorial uses macOS Ventura 13.2.1 and iMovie version 10.3.4. If you have older/newer versions of macOS or iMovie, the process may be different.
I started a Spotify channel for my music recently and I’ve been having a lot of fun customizing it and using their features. I like the ability to customize your artist page, add artist playlists, pick an artist pick, and also to add Canvas videos.
The Canvas video function allows you to have a short, repeating video that displays while listeners are streaming your track. It covers the whole screen, with the song info at the bottom. You may have noticed this from your favorite artists. Usually it’s a clip from their music video or a live show, but small and independent artists can make canvas videos too!
What you’ll need:
- a mac computer (I am using macOS 13.2.1)
- iMovie (I am using version 10.3.4)
- a verified and activated Spotify Artist account
- a pending (or live) Spotify release
- video footage
You can use footage you’ve taken, or you can get some simple stock footage that relates to your video.
Watch the tutorial:
Where to get video:
You can take your own video or use stock footage. Since I make ambient music and meditation music, I have been using lots of cool animations and some nature footage. This has worked well!
Here are some free places to get video:
Here are some paid places to get video:
How does a seamless Canvas video work?
What we are doing is basically picking a spot in a video, and then creating a short clip that will fade in the middle and transition seamlessly at the beginning and end. Yes, there will be a cross dissolve or fade in the middle, but this is a lot nicer than a sudden jump of a transition that you might usually see. If you are careful about the clip you choose, you can make the cross dissolve also seamless or simply look nice and intentional. For example, you could use a music video and pick a spot where the cross dissolve looks good.
Why does the video have to be 7 seconds?
So, yes, Spotify allows for video of up to 8 seconds. However, when you are shortening your clip in iMovie, it might say that the clip is 8 seconds, but it is actually 8.5 seconds or 8.2 seconds. That will ruin the seamless transition. For that reason, you will have to shorten the clip to be 7 seconds or less. Technically, it can be up to 7.999 seconds long, but you’ll want to make sure iMovie is displaying 7 seconds to ensure that it won’t be cut off in the final version.
Where to find your Spotify account and Canvas option:
You can create a Spotify artist account on this page: https://artists.spotify.com/
If you have already created one and linked it to your releases, great! If not, you will need to make sure that your music distribution service is linked to the appropriate Spotify artist account. Once this is done, you can see all your releases, customize your page, and create Canvas videos for your releases.
Here is the page to create or claim your account: https://artists.spotify.com/en/claim
Before you do this, make sure you know what process is needed from your music distributor. Wherever you distribute your music (Distrokid, CDBaby, TuneCore, etc), they likely have a unique process for setting up your Spotify page and linking it to your releases. This tutorial does not explain how to do that and assumed you already have access to your releases.
That said, once you have access to your Spotify artist page, you should look on the Music page and then look under “Releases” or “Upcoming”. Your track will appear there, and there will be an option to add a Canvas video.
When will the Canvas video be live?
It is usually live almost immediately after completing the upload, but it could take a little time to go into effect for all users. If your release is scheduled for a future date, it will be live at the time of release.
Music used in this video:
You can license more of my music for use as background music in videos, guided meditations, films, and more here: https://indiemusicbox.com/
Please review my license terms before using the music.
I hope this tutorial helps! This was just something fun I wanted to make in case anyone wanted to know my process for making these seamlessly looping Canvas videos.
Take care and good luck making your Canvas videos. 🙂
P.S. You can check out my music on Spotify, if you’re interested. Thanks!