Uber riders, in-car video ads are coming

Uber riders could soon have video ads playing of their face after they’re traveling from A to B.

The ridesharing giant said on Wednesday it’s trialing in-car ads played on tablets as a part of broader plans to rake in extra money through promoting.

In-car ads are already playing on tablets in some Uber cars in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and if the pilot goes well we will expect to see it rolled out across the country and possibly beyond.

“Journey Ads,” as Uber’s in-car ads initiative is known as, has thus far partnered with 40 brands that include NBCUniversal, Heineken, and United Artists.

Uber describes the in-car ads as “an enticing way for brands to attach with consumers throughout the complete ride process,” though how riders feel about having ads played during their journey stays to be seen.

Uber recently arrange a dedicated ads team under former Amazon ad executive Dr. Mark Grethe. Besides in-car ads, Uber also plans to place more ads within the Uber and Uber Eats apps — including ads inside menus — and likewise launch sponsored emails through which businesses can promote exclusive offers for Uber and Uber Eats customers. Digital billboards that drivers stick on the roof of their automobile during working hours are also a part of Uber’s plans.

“Through our promoting division, we will help leading brands grow their relationships with consumers by connecting them at a moment when a customer is uniquely attentive,” Grethe said in a release.

Uber’s push into ads comes just a few months after ridesharing rival Lyft created a latest team to double down on efforts to drag in revenue through promoting. It’s already utilizing in-car tablets after launching a pilot program in Los Angeles last 12 months. It’s now being expanded to Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Besides ads, Lyft’s tablets also allow riders to trace journey progress, rate and tip drivers, and control the music of their ride through its partnership with iHeartRadio.

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