Pandora hopes you’ll listen more in an Uber

Uber already integrates with Spotify so riders can pick their favorite tunes to jam to on their trip, but now Pandora is teaming up with the rideshare giant to do the same — this time for drivers.

It’s not clear how many riders actually use the Spotify integration but not many drivers seem to have the set up to use it. Anecdotally, one Uber driver told me he didn’t even know Uber offered this service for riders and I’ve seen other drivers struggle to get it to work through their phone jacks.

There’s also been some fear on the driver side that allowing passengers to choose the music de-humanizes the driver.

But nevermind that, Uber is now integrating with Pandora, too.

It’s a bit of a different experience on the driver’s side, though. For one, Pandora will be integrated within the driver app for easy navigation. Instead of switching out of the app, selecting Pandora, choosing a station, then closing out and hopping back into the Uber driver app, drivers will be able to select a station while picking up a rider and following the map to take them to their destination in the same app.

Pandora will also be ad-free (for the first six months) so drivers can choose the station they want without interruption as they pick up rides. Drivers can choose to pay the Pandora subscription or deal with ads after the six months are up.

The roll-out is part of a number of enhancements on the driver side Uber has been working on, including discounts and perks like a gas card and station finder.

Uber says they’ll also be offering drivers the needed aux cords so they will be able to blast their chosen Pandora stations inside their car and that the in-app Pandora feature will lower the music when they get a rider notification to make it easier to use Pandora while in the Uber driver app.

“Many drivers already use music to get their day started on the right note, but it can be challenging to find high-quality music that both drivers and riders love—without radio ads and interruptions to the music,” Uber senior product manager for music Bob Cowherd said.

The move is a boon to Pandora, which likely wants some of the younger Uber users as new listeners. Pandora is an older music platform and therefore grabs an older demographic than Spotify. According to one market intelligence study from Civic Science, less than half (45 percent) of Pandora listeners are under 29. 

Listenership is also steadily dropping on the music platform, going from 81.5 million monthly active listeners in 2015 to 81.1 million in 2016. Integration with the Uber driver app not only makes it easier for Uber drivers to use but also serves as free marketing to the millions of Uber riders.

Uber says it will maintain its Spotify partnership on the rider side — and told TechCrunch it will have more to come on that for riders —  but the partnership with Pandora helps Uber maintain a “seamless and collaborative music experience” for both rider and driver.