After Uber, Spotify To Take Car Strategy Up Another Gear With BMW Deal

Update: The BMW deal got confirmed a day later, as we reported. Spotify with integrate with in-car systems for BMW and Mini cars. Original article below.

Today Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek formally confirmed a partnership that will let passengers activate and listen to their Spotify music when they get into Uber cars, but it turns out that this is just part one of two car-related announcements Spotify has planned for this week. Tomorrow, it’s announcing an integration in BMW’s connected car platform.

We and others broke the news of the Uber-Spotify partnership last week. Our sources tell us that the integration was in the works for at least a year (from before the time when Uber approached a French video producer to create a Spotify/Uber video that has now been taken down) to before getting finalized and announced today.

A screenshot of that video is here. Looks like they kept the concept of the bearded millennial.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 01.22.22

“Instead of doing car integrations, we thought about next generation…This is a way for us to reach a younger, a more millennial audience,” Ek had said on the call.

The BMW deal will be the third integration of its kind for Spotify, which inked its first car integration in 2013 with Ford and then quickly expanded that with a second deal with Volvo. It’s also integrated into the Apple Car Play service. BMW is the world’s 10th-biggest car maker globally but it’s also a key partnership because of its combination of iconic and high-end brands, which include BMW itself but also Rolls-Royce and Mini.

Our source says that the deal with BMW will be announced formally tomorrow.

Other details are still thin, but it looks like it will be a part of the company’s ConnectedDrive platform. Spotify won’t be the first to appear on this platform — others already there include AUPEO! Personal Internet Radio, Stitcher, Web radio, snippy, Deezer, TuneIn, Napster / Rhapsody,Audible, Pandora, Amazon Music. What that also demonstrates is that for drivers who are buying cars with connected services, having your preferred music service in there is becoming less of a bonus and more of a given.

Together the BMW and Uber deals are a sign of Spotify’s growing interest in taking its music platform to wherever its users (or potential users) are spending time today.

While deals like the one with BMW point to Spotify’s strategy to target drivers, the Uber deal is also Spotify’s first move to cover consumers who are opting out of driving and owning cars and electing to use car services instead (a growing trend, if you listen to Uber-ites).

The two companies today would not go into the financial details of the service — which launches on November 21 in ten cities — but instead described it as a “win-win”.

“For Uber, it’s the first time we’ve personalized the music inside the car and for music lovers that’s nirvana,” explained Kalanick.

“This is a way for us to reach a younger, a more millennial audience,” said Ek of the deal.

The Uber and Spotify integration will be available to all Uber and Spotify Premium users on iOS and Android (in beta) in London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Toronto and Sydney. The integration will continue to roll out globally over the coming weeks. The service will work for all Uber passengers in those markets except for those using UberPool.