Spotify announced this morning a new partnership with online GIF database GIPHY to enable discovery of new music through GIFs. No, the GIFs themselves won’t play song clips, if that’s what you’re thinking. Instead, through a series of new Spotify-linked GIFs, there will be an option to click a button to be taken to Spotify directly to hear the artist’s music. At launch, artists including Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, The Kid LAROI, Conan Gray and others will have Spotify-linked GIFs available on their official GIPHY profile page. More artists will be added over time.
The idea behind the new integration is to help connect users with Spotify music from their everyday communications, like texts, group chats and other places where GIFs are used. This is similar to Spotify’s existing integrations with social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram, where users can share music through the Stories and messages they post. Essentially, it’s a user acquisition strategy that leverages online social activities — in this case, sharing GIFs — while also benefiting the artists through the exposure they receive.
You can find the new Spotify-linked GIFs on the artist’s page on GIPHY.com or through GIPHY’s mobile app. The supported GIFs will include a new “Listen on Spotify” button at the bottom which will appear alongside the GIF when it’s shared. When clicked, users are redirected from the GIF to the artist’s page on Spotify, where they can stream their music or browse to discover more songs they want to hear. We understand GIPHY worked in collaboration with the artists to bring their music to its platform, rather than the artists’ labels.
Spotify says the feature is part of a broader partnership it has with GIPHY, which will later focus on bringing a more interactive listening experience to users.
The move to partner with GIPHY follows a recent expansion of the existing partnership between Spotify and GIPHY’s parent company, Facebook. The social networking giant bought the popular GIF platform in a deal worth a reported $400 million back in 2020, a couple years after Google snatched up GIPHY rival, Tenor. Since then, Facebook has worked to better integrate GIPHY with its apps, like Facebook and Instagram.
Earlier this year, Facebook and Spotify had also teamed up on a new “Boombox” project that allows Facebook users to listen to music hosted on Spotify while browsing the Facebook app. This is powered by a “miniplayer” that allows anyone who comes across the shared music to click to play the content while they scroll their feed.
Despite Spotify and Facebook’s ties, GIPHY notes it explored its partnership with Spotify as a standalone opportunity, separate from Facebook. The company said it plans to pursue further partnership opportunities with Spotify to make the user experience even more interactive in the future, as their relationship continues.
Spotify says the new feature will be available to users globally from verified GIPHY artists’ pages.