Spotify’s partnership with GIPHY illustrates their innovation as a digital platform

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Illustration by Greg Storey

Spotify continues to impress me with their innovation in the realm of digital platforms. Though putting out music is clearly different than putting out news and written words, there’s still a thing or two to be learned from them. 

Since I’ve started writing on 99 Park Row and paying more attention to the space, it’s become evident that Spotify is kind of the king of the hill. I’ve already written about them twice now—once for their ability to uniquely personalize data and again for their new subscription service for podcasts

Their latest venture includes partnering with GIPHY to allow for music discovery through GIFs. Now, when someone uses an artist’s GIF through text or on a social platform, anyone who clicks on that GIF will automatically be taken to that artist’s Spotify profile. They’re very in touch with this generation, they’ve made that much clear. 

Sarah Perez from TechCrunch reported on the partnership and the thought process behind it:

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019 quote-left

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.

I don’t know about you, but my Instagram stories are constantly full of cute GIFs and I can definitely see this partnership paying off. 

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019 quote-left

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.

Spotify has their foot in what seems to be almost every door nowadays. Twitter feeds are flooded with end-of-the-year “Spotify Wrapped,” Facebook has teamed up with them to play music while browsing the app and you can link Shazam to Spotify to identify new music with Snapchat. And, the more obvious one, Instagram stories allow you to add Spotify tracks to your image or video.

In the first lineup of GIFs will be ​​notable artists Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, The Kid LAROI and Conan Gray—with promises of more to come. Essentially, you can send a friend a GIF of Doja Cat and they’ll automatically be redirected to her artist page when you click on the GIF. 

Spotify is continuously spearheading these marketing and expansion efforts. It will be interesting to see which other companies follow suit—imagine sending a GIF of your favorite movie, and the recipient is taken to it on Netflix. Even though these efforts can’t be directly replicated by more journalistic digital publishing companies, the thought to connect with users and grow in unique ways is a strong undercurrent that can—and should—be copied by many. 

Michelle works on LexBlog’s Publishing team as the Editor and assists in managing and creating the company’s editorial and social content, as well as working with clients to ensure the overall success of their blogs. She has experience working in all different realms of publishing—including newspapers, magazines and research journals. 

Photo of Michelle Newblom
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