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End of in-car radio? Uber and Spotify team up for ride-along listening

18 Nov 14

Car service company Uber has partnered with music streaming service Spotify to allow passengers to activate and listen to their Spotify music when they get into Uber cars.

Customers with a premium Spotify account will be able to remotely control playlists through the speakers of their Uber taxi.

The partnership supports the growing trend of passengers wanting to control what music streaming service is being used in vehicles, whether they are driving themselves or hiring a car service.

The partnership has obvious benefits for both Spotify and Uber. For Spotify, it’s a big step into the hugely lucrative market for in-car listening, which remains dominated by broadcast radio. From Uber’s perspective, allowing passengers to stream their own music will enhance user experience. Spotify users potentially could choose Uber over competing alternatives.

The offer begins on 21 November, with London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nashville, Mexico City, Singapore, Stockholm, Toronto and Sydney the first cities to roll out the service.

Uber says it will be rolling out the service to more cities in the coming weeks.

Along with the launch, Uber will be holding a competition to allow customers in the above cities to have ‘ride-alongs’ with music artists. Participants confirmed so far are Andrew W.K., The Sam Willows, Ximena Sariñana, Ansiktet, Professor Green, Diplo, Matt and Kim, Ricki Lee, Kevin Drew and Jake Owen.

The Uber deal is a sign of Spotify’s growing interest in taking its music platform to wherever its users (or potential users) are spending time. The Uber deal is also Spotify’s first move to cover consumers who are opting out of driving and owning cars and electing to use car services instead.

The changes will be available with the latest update of the Uber app.

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