Uber and Spotify Partnership Lets Consumers Play DJ

Thanks to a new partnership between Uber and Spotify, consumers will soon be able to control the music that plays during their car rides.

To do so requires connecting to a Spotify account from the Uber profile screen, just once. If the particular vehicle is music-enabled, users will be able to see a music bar at the bottom of the app; by tapping the music bar, they can choose any song from any Spotify playlist, which will start as soon as the ride begins.

Starting Friday, the new feature will be available in 10 cities to start: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nashville, Toronto, Mexico City, London, Stockholm, Singapore, and Sydney. Uber will be curating playlists specially designed to celebrate each individual city. Users will be able to experience exclusive live sessions and ride-alongs with popular artists, such as Mexican pop star Ximena Sariñara, English rapper Professor Green, and Andrew W.K., who is best known for his song “Party Hard” and his dirty white Levi’s.

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“The move is great. It further accentuates a really unique position for Uber: this is your car, at least for the length of the ride,” says Gary Stein, senior vice president of strategy and planning at Sterling Brands’ San Francisco office, noting that Uber has the potential to disrupt other ridesharing companies just as it has disrupted city taxis.

“The more things they do to allow for customization of the drive, the better,” Stein continues. “Everyone in the world gets into their own car or rental, and tunes the radio to their favorite station. This is a move that gives a hint of that same experience.”

The partnership will allow Spotify to reach people who don’t drive, in addition to the massive number of car owners the music streaming service has been targeting since last February. Spotify partnered with Ford to integrate voice-activated music controls in more than 1 million of its cars, eventually doing the same with Volvo. Tomorrow, a similar integration with BMW will be announced.

For Uber, the ridesharing service just keeps getting cooler and cooler. “Uber – already perceived as elitist – adds another hip experiential element. Spotify can continue its aggressive march toward increasingly ubiquitous availability,” says Thomas Mueller, chief experience officer at Siegel + Gale. “Uber + Spotify = awesome ride. How about a Tinder-like partnership, where you get to pick your driver, too?”

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