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Uber could soon be integrating Spotify into its mobile app

Everyone’s a backseat DJ now. 


Beejoli Shah


We’ve all been there: you stumble into a cab in various states of intoxication, but the driver’s affinity for polka doesn’t quite scream “pre-party” as much as you’d like. Nine times out of 10, a request for Drake is promptly denied. But riders everywhere will soon be Drake-less no more: Everyone’s favorite price-gouging car service Uber is teaming up with Spotify to let passengers play DJ through the Uber app.

As the New York Times first reported last night, Uber will be integrating Spotify into its mobile app, allowing passengers to play backseat DJ. Sources with knowledge of Uber’s plans shared with the Times that passengers will be able to use their own playlists to control the music in the car, which means that if you ever wanted to introduce your driver to the wonders of Bollywood’s greatest hits at 3am, now’s your chance.

While the partnership hasn’t been formally announced yet, reporters received invitations late Friday afternoon inviting them to join a conference call with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and a “special partner guest.” The invite, adorned with a treble clef, points to the announcement being the unveiling of the partnership, and sources told the Times that the special guest in question will likely be Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify.

As TechCrunch reported last night, this lines up with screenshots they obtained of what the new interface would look like within the app, as well as a French video they discovered a few months back on Vimeo, featuring both Uber and Spotify’s logo. In the promotional video, a young man is walking down the street listening to Spotify, before getting into an Uber, where his music is still playing when he pulls off his headphones. The ad closes with the phrase, “Votre chauffeur Uber. Rythme votre vie au son de Spotify,” which roughly translates to, “Your driver is Uber. Pace your life to the sound of Spotify.”

But while the Vimeo ad shows both driver and passenger joyfully rocking out to the passenger’s choice of French electro-pop band A Rainmaker, we get the sense that after the 87th play of “All About That Bass,” backseat drivers may not become Uber drivers’ biggest problem: backseat DJs will.

H/T New York Times | Illustration by Jason Reed 

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