San-Francisco-based ridesharing service Uber is most likely planning to announce a new partnership with Spotify, the popular music streaming service. Uber sent out music-themed press invites yesterday inviting reporters to join a conference call this Monday with CEO Travis Kalanick, as well as a mysterious "special partner guest." No official word yet on who this partner is, but according to reports by The New York Times, sources close to the project say this will most likely be Spotify's CEO, Daniel Ek.
Further supporting this theory, Uber's driving app has recently been updated with prompts requiring drivers to list if their vehicles were equipped with AUX ports. An apparent mockup of the passenger interface for the music section of the app has also been discovered within the passenger version of the app. This will likely serve to allow passengers to choose music from their Spotify playlists and listen to it on the vehicle stereo streamed via the driver's phone.
As far as brand partnerships go, both parties stand to benefit greatly here. Five-year-old Uber is present in over 140 cities and is pushing its marketing quite effectively. I'm sure this partnership will also integrate Uber into the Spotify app to some extent, and having Uber branding in front of the streaming services' 50 million users is great advertisement. Spotify also stands to gain here, while it isn't clear whether the Uber ride integration will be available to Spotify's 30 million free subscribers, or just the paying customers, showing off the music service to Uber's userbase will surely gain some new users.
Uber is in a fierce war with its other ridesharing competitor Lyft; earlier this year Uber was accused of attempting to tie up their rival's infrastructure by repeatedly reserving and cancelling rides. Of course, Uber denied the accusations, but it's plain to see both companies are pushing their competition pretty hard. Both offer similar services here, so Uber is using anything it can to make itself stand out from the competition.
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