Now Uber can take EVERYONE for a ride

Uber and Spotify - a symphony made in low pay heaven

Taxi Driver

+Comment Casual car hire company Uber is teaming up with Spotify, ensuring neither your favourite musicians nor your driver get paid very much.

"Uber users who link their Spotify account to their Uber account can push a button, get a ride and get in to the car their Spotify station is playing,” explained Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO.

London, New York, Sydney and San Francisco will be amongst the first 10 cities to launch on Friday. Artists will jump into cars - making it a particularly good day to get a black cab. It will only be available to premium subscribers.

"We’re always looking to create highly evolved experiences,” said Kalanick. “It’s sexy and interesting and fun for our users.”

“It’s really like the future is here,” enthused Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify.

Kalanick said millennials were attracted to both companies: they don’t own cars or record collections, he argued. (Just a trust fund and an iPhone, and you’re set...)

Both Uber and Spotify have been criticised for the respective ways they treat the labour who make their services possible. Its "optional $65 customer service training course", for example, has been the source of much mirth.

While Uber has been hammering its own drivers: reduced rates have prompted driver strikes in LA and New York. Uber portrays itself as a facilitator of a “sharing economy”. But, as we argued here, it isn’t really an internet company at all: the USP is tapping into a pool of casual labour and transferring the risk to the user.

For its part, Spotify has earned fierce criticism from songwriters and performers for paying out low royalties and destroying value of premium popular artists. Taylor Swift recently withdrew not just the year’s bestselling album, but her entire back catalogue from Spotify. CEO Ek defended Spotify’s business here. Swift's plea for musicians to demand payment for their music is here.

Readers are welcome to compile an appropriate playlist for this momentous partnership in the comments below.

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