Report: Spotify Debated Whether To End Uber Partnership

According to leaked internal documents, Spotify either has, or is, considering ending its app partnership with Uber. This information comes by way of documents seen by The Verge, which highlight that internally, Spotify is finding it difficult to decide whether they should continue to partner with Uber, while the company remains the subject of various controversies. This is specifically in relation to the likes of the API that allows a Spotify user to connect and dictate the content that is played in an Uber car during a ride.

According to the information coming through, Spotify’s Head of Product, Gustav Söderström, sent out an internal email to the company explaining that due to “the practices that have been on display” it was proving difficult for Spotify to remain interested in a joint partnership with the ride-sharing company. Although, Söderström was also noted in the email stating the decision of whether to stick with Uber “is not a straightforward” one. It seems while Spotify have seriously considered ended the partnership, the streaming company is hesitant to do so as they do not want to “punish” users by ending support for the API. It is this latter point (more so than actually any commitment to Uber), that seems to have been the driving force behind Spotify holding off on ending the partnership already.

While the information that has become publicly available so far doesn't specially note which of the Uber controversies have raised the most concern for Spotify, Uber has been the subject of a few recently. Most notably, accusations of sexism in the workplace which were alleged by a former Uber engineer. Then there was another issue which resulted in the resignation of the company’s SVP of Engineering, Amit Singhal, for not fully declaring accusations of sexual harassment before joining Uber. As well as an issue where Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, was recorded on video engaging negatively with one of the company’s drivers. Not forgetting of course, an issue that has been raised recently where Uber has been accused of stealing self-driving car tech from Alphabet’s Waymo. One which now looks likely to be decided by the courts.

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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]
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