Spotify's Grand Experiment Part Deux
  • MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2014

  • Posted by: Austin Price

It seems that Spotify's attempts to take over the musical world are not slowing in the least. There were rumblings of a pending partnership between Spotify and car-ride providers Uber last Friday and those rumors were confirmed this morning with a post on Spotify's blog.

Starting November 21st, Uber riders in 10 cities -- amongst them New York, London and Singapore (so you know this business is global) -- will be able to use their smartphones to link their Spotify accounts to their ride and hijack the speakers. It's going to require a premium account, of course, so it's not hard to imagine this part of a huge drive (no pun intended) to get Spotify users subscribing. After all, who doesn't prefer the ability to listen to what they want when they want?

Surprisingly, there are some of us who'd rather leave the musical choices up to the driver or even have it so that there's no music in a ride, period. Not because I think that drivers need a chance to flaunt their musical tastes -- I can honestly say I've never heard anything new or interesting in all the time I've spent in taxis -- but because there's something about this kind of indulgence that strikes me as literally anti-social. In hijacking the radio you're hijacking much of the mood of the ride, telling the driver that they are, in fact, background to your adventure. Maybe this is common, I don't know what most people's experience with taxis is like, but to decide that you're going to control the tenor of the ride before you even step in the car seems confrontational at best and dehumanizing at worst.

And in case you doubted, there are already rumblings from Uber drivers to this effect. This kind of indulgence epitomizes certain ugly consumer trends that tells the listener their taste is king, that they should be indulged at all times. Forget anyone else.

See the official announcement below.

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