Uber launches Pandora promotion for drivers

Ronny Kerr · June 27, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4640

Ad-free until the end of the year, new promotion gives drivers more options for music listening

Most radio stations these days don’t have the best music in the world. In the Bay Area, my favorites are 91.1 for jazz, 98.1 for funk and R&B, and 102.1 for hip hop throwbacks. But the digital options are much better.

Hoping to offer up some more options for its rides, Uber announced today that drivers in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand can now play music from Pandora for free and without advertisements until the end of the year. Starting on December 29, the stations will include ads for those drivers that don’t have paid Pandora subscriptions.

As this includes a full technology integration with Pandora, Uber’s partner app (the one for drivers) now includes a dedicated button that says "Play Music,” which allows Pandora users to set their station and start listening to music. The device has to be hooked up to the car’s stereo through Bluetooth or an AUX port to work.

According to Uber product managers Holly Ormseth and Bob Cowherd:

“With Pandora integrated directly into the Uber partner app, everything you need to play music, discover new artists, and save songs is all in one place. There’s no need to bounce back and forth between apps or fiddle with the radio. And with Pandora’s endless stations right at your fingertips, you won’t have to worry about ads, interruptions, or repetitive songs.”

The company says it worked directly with real Uber drivers to develop the functionality for this new feature.

This isn’t the first time Uber has partnered with a digital music provider to help soundtrack its rides. Back in 2014, the company announced integration with Spotify to give passengers control over music playing in the car.

More recently, Uber announced an expansion to its API called Uber Trip Experiences, giving third-party apps more power to customize their offerings for the length of a passenger's ride. For Spotify, this could mean making a playlist that lasts as long as the estimated time until the destination.

The announcement with Pandora is far from the first integration Uber has announced this year, but the company’s integrations typically involve the ability to order an Uber from different devices and platforms. At the 2016 WWDC hosted by Apple in San Francisco, for example, Uber was cited as one of the first third-party developers to integrate with Siri, allowing iOS users to hail a ride with their voice.

Similarly, Uber announced earlier this year that users of Alexa, the voice assistant for the Amazon Echo, can order a ride with their voice. Before that, Uber integrated with Facebook Messenger to make it easy to order a ride within chat conversations.

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Pandora, the leading internet radio service, gives people music they love
anytime, anywhere, through a wide variety of connected devices: laptop and
desktop computers, smartphones, connected BluRay players, connected TVs,
etc. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single “seed” –
a favorite artist, song or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply
detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, powers the personalization or
Pandora. Using this musicological “DNA” and constant listener feedback
Pandora crafts personalized stations from the more than 800,000 songs that
have been analyzed since the project began in January 2000.
More than 75 million people throughout the United States listen to
personalized radio stations for free on Pandora through their PCs, mobile
phones and devices such as the iPad, and connected in-house devices
ranging from TVs to set-top boxes to Blu-Ray players. Mobile technology has
been a significant factor in the growth and popularity of Pandora, starting
with the introduction of the Apple app store for the iPhone in the summer of
2008. Pandora instantly became one of the most top downloaded apps and
today, according to Nielsen, is one of the top five most popular apps across
all smartphone platforms.

Pandora is free, simple and, thanks to connectivity, available everywhere
consumers are – at the office, at home, in the car and all points in between.
In 2009 the Company announced that Pandora would be incorporated into
the dashboard in Ford cars via SYNC technology; GM has already followed in
announcing plans to integrate Pandora into its vehicles and Mercedes-Benz
introduced their Media Interface Plus device that works with the
free Pandora iPhone app to provide direct control of Pandora from in-dash
stereo controls. This was all great news for the millions of Pandora listeners
who had been plugging their smartphones into car dashboards to listen to
personalized stations while driving. More than 50 percent of radio listening
happens in the car, making it a crucial arena for Pandora.

Today tens of millions of people have a deeply personal connection with
Pandora based on the delight of personalized radio listening and discovery.
These highly engaged listeners reinforce the value Pandora provides to: 1)
musicians, who have found in Pandora a level playing field on which their
music has a greater chance of being played than ever before; 2) advertisers,
who benefit from the multi-platform reach of Pandora, as well as its best
practices in targeting consumers for specific campaigns; 3) the music
industry, which has found in Pandora a highly effective distribution channel;
and 4) automobile and consumer electronics device manufacturers, who have
noted that incorporating Pandora into their product makes it more valuable
to consumers.

Pandora continues to focus on its business in the United States. The radio
arena has never been hotter, thanks to technology that enables radio to be
personalized to the individual and more accessible than ever before. Right
now millions of people listen to Pandora in the United States and we hope
someday to bring Pandora to billions of people around the world.

• 2000 – Tim Westergren’s Music Genome Project begins.
• 2005 – Pandora launches on the web.
• 2008 – Pandora app becomes one of the most consistently downloaded
apps in the Apple store.
• 2009 – Ford announces Pandora will be incorporated into car
dashboard. Alpine and Pioneer begin selling aftermarket radios that
connect to consumers’ iPhones and puts the control and command of
Pandora into the car dashboard.
• 2010 – Pandora is present on more than 200 connected consumer
electronics devices ranging from smartphones to TVs to set-top boxes
to Blu-ray players and is able to stream visual, audio, and interactive
advertising to computers, smartphones, iPads, and in-home connected



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Uber is a ridesharing service headquartered in San Francisco, United States, which operates in multiple international cities. The company uses a smartphone application to arrange rides between riders and drivers.