European music streaming service Spotify is teaming up with Silicon Valley car sharing giant Uber in a move that will allow passengers to stream their playlists directly through the cab’s stereo.
The service was announced in press conference today by the founders of the scale up companies that are aiming to disrupt their respective industries.
“Uber users who link their Spotify account to their Uber account can basically push a button and get a ride, and get into the car, and in the car their Spotify music, their Spotify station is playing,” said Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, during a conference call with journalists to announced the partnership.
“For Uber, it’s the first time we’ve personalised the experience inside the car. And for music lovers, that’s nirvana. It’s a really awesome place to be.”
The service will be available from Friday in London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto, although Kalanick stressed that the new feature will be optional for drivers.
However, passengers will only be able to use the feature if the Uber driver escorting them has connected their handset to their car’s audio system.
It's understood that drivers will have control to the volume of the music being played and Kalanick added that Uber will keep an eye on possible "tension points" that could arise between driver and passenger.
Speaking on the call, Spotify founder Daniel Ek hailed cars as Spotify’s third key device category, alongside mobile devices – smartphones and tablets – and computers.
“One of the big things for us is how do we get into the car. Given that people’s average commute time is 30 minutes to an hour, how do we get into that space and allow people to play their music?” said Ek.
“Instead of just doing car integrations, we thought ‘what’s the next generation of transportation system?’ Uber’s an obvious fit for us.”
The founders declined to comment on whether the deal would involve one company or the other taking a share of the other's revenues.
The launch of the service will be celebrated with parties in each of the host cities, featuring artists including Andrew WK, Professor Green and Diplo.