Uber: Serving up rides, chow, and… ads

Uber: Serving up rides, chow, and… ads

Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It’s been a big week for advertising.

On Tuesday, Netflix — once an advertising foe — answered analysts’ burning questions about its upcoming ad-supported plan.

Then yesterday, Uber hold-my-beer’ed them, detailing plans for its own foray into ads.

Uber? Advertising?

Consider this: The company facilitated 1.87B trips last quarter across rides and deliveries, with its 122m monthly users averaging five interactions with the company each month.

Those interactions — sitting in a car, ordering a burger — equate to mountains of face time from eyeballs with strong consumer intent, meaning Uber now commands a remarkably powerful platform for serving ads.

The company says…

… early tests have “surpassed expectations.”

  • Within apps, brands can sponsor listings and place ads on storefronts or after checkout, among other things. Over 40 brands are on board, including NBCUniversal and Heineken.
  • Uber is also testing in-car tablets in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and already offers drivers electronic rooftop billboards.

Does this help drivers?

Uber’s head of mobility recently noted that advertising revenue could subsidize Uber’s costs without decreasing driver earnings.

To its credit, Lyft has been doing much of this since August. Its tablets offer riders a map, plus options for tipping, which the company found increase 28% per ride with the tablet.

Notably, the tablets also offer controls for the world’s highest-pressure responsibility — controlling the music.

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Psst

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