On Monday Uber and Spotify confirmed a previously reported partnership in which the companies’ apps will be integrated. As a result, Uber passengers with premium Spotify subscriptions will be play song selections from their own phones on the sound systems of some Uber cars. The feature is rolling out to ten cities — London, LA, Nashville, NYC, Mexico City, SF, Singapore, Stockholm, Toronto and Sydney — and will eventually go global.
Here’s how it works: Passengers can link Spotify to their Uber app by going through their Uber account settings. Once it’s linked, when they request an Uber car they’ll find out whether their driver has opted into this new feature. If so, they’ll be able to play any of their music or playlists from a “music bar” inside the Uber app and it will broadcast through the car’s speakers. This feature works for all Uber categories, except UberPool and Uber Taxi.
When asked about whether the feature could cause tension between drivers and passengers, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick pointed out that drivers could control the volume. So if someone wants to blast some death metal, they’ll only be able to blast it at the volume selected by the driver. “If we see tension points…those are things we’ll work into the experience and handle in an elegant way,” Kalanick said on a conference call announcing the news.
As part of the ten-city launch, Uber market managers will be creating Spotify playlists customized for each city. On November 21, to celebrate the launch, Spotify will broadcast special live performances by artists like Matt & Kim and Diplo.
Asked why Spotify was interested in this partnership, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek cited the consumer movement from car ownership to rides-on-demand. “More and more people are skipping their own cars and growing straight to Uber,” Ek said. “[This is] a way to reach a younger millennial audience in cities.”