Taxi-app Uber hitches a lift with Spotify

Uber, the taxi-hailing app, has unveiled a new feature that will enable passengers to listen to their own Spotify playlists as they travel, in what the group has described as a "first of its kind partnership".

In a call with press on Monday afternoon, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announced plans to team up with the music-streaming service, as part of its push to dominate the taxi hailing app industry.

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The Uber app
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The Uber app

The new feature will launch this Friday in 10 major cities including London, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York and will offer an in-car personalized service whereby passengers will be able to listen to their Spotify playlists as they travel.

"For the first time we have personalized the experience in the car – for music lovers that is Nirvana," Kalanick told journalists.

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From this Friday, users will be able to connect to their Spotify accounts from their Uber profile while hailing a car, which on arrival will be playing the passengers playlist of choice, provided the car is "music-enabled".

Connecting to the new music service is optional for Uber drivers, but Kalanick said feedback from drivers so far has been positive.

Spotify has done a "great job" in homes and on the go so far according to CEO Daniel Ek, but has been looking for different ways to "get into the car".

"What's the next generation of transportation – Uber is such an obvious fit for us," Ek said on the call, adding that it takes the Spotify experience to the "next level".

The service will be a hit with "more of a millennial audience" and allow Spotify to get to a "massive amount of users in quick fashion," Ek said.

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Both chief executives were tight-lipped on the particulars of deal, and how both firms would split any profits, but Ek said the tie-up was a "win-win" for both sides.

By way of promoting the service, Uber and Spotify have planned a number of exclusive live music events in the 10 cities where the new software is available from Friday, and some artists will be staging a number of "ridealongs" with fans.

The venture could open the car service up to entire new audience, as Spotify estimates it has over 50 million active users and over 12.5 million paying subscribers with over 1.5 billion playlists.

The service is open to premium Spotify users only, but non-subscription users will have an 7-day free trial option.