Following early rumors last week that the popular car-hailing service Uber would be partnering with music streaming giant Spotify, the companies today confirmed the upcoming launch of integration between the two services.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek today confirmed that the two app-based services will be partnering to allow Uber customers to prepare a specifically selected queue of songs while waiting on an Uber car. When the car picks its passengers up, the selected song will already be playing. Users will have to connect their Spotify Premium accounts with the car service inside the Uber app, but once that is done the app will allow them to not only pick their music beforehand, but adjust and control it for the duration of the trip.
The partnership is set to launch on November 21 in London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Toronto and Sydney. A widespread rollout to more locations is expected to follow shortly thereafter.
The Uber driver will also have to connect their phone to the car's stereo for the service to function, but Uber says widespread adoption of the new collaboration is eagerly accepted by its employees. But until it's universally installed in every Uber car, the option to select music for your trip won't show up in the Uber app if your area doesn't have the service yet.
A new report from TechCrunch also claims that Spotify soon plans to announce yet another collaboration, this time with BMW's ConnectedDrive platform. After making deals with companies like Ford and Volvo, it would be Spotify's third major car company integration announcement. Following an update just last month, the service now also supports Apple CarPlay.
Spotify's app code also hints additional service expansions in the works, with TechCrunch pointing to podcasts and an undetermined feature codenamed "Magic"
Both Uber [Direct Link] and Spotify [Direct Link] can be downloaded from the App Store for free.
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Edit: I took a closer look and it seems that US taxi regulations are the culprit driving this. I live in Poland now and it's easy to get a taxi within 5-10 minutes, by calling or using an app called iTaxi. It doesn't look like you can pay by CC, but thats not a big deal to me, I prefer to use cash. All taxis have their prices posted on the side of the taxi (usually $0.80/km) and there is a standard starting fare on top of this (about $2.50).
The main thing I don't like about Uber (besides the high price) is that the drivers aren't professionals. Several didn't even speak English well, and all were glued to their GPS with absolutely no knowledge of the area and roads.