Update, 9 June: MediaNama reached out to Times Internet to ask how the user can stream Gaana while in Uber ride, to which the company said that the user needed to plugin the aux cable into the car’s system or use Bluetooth to stream music. (h/t: Rounak Jain) Honestly, we don’t see how this benefits a Uber user at all if all they have to do is plug an aux cable or use Bluetooth to play music in the car, which can also be done otherwise and without Gaana. We’d like to apologise for not checking this before hand.
8 June: Times Internet* owned music streaming service Gaana and online cab aggregator Uber have partnered to let Uber users stream songs from Gaana while in a Uber ride in Mumbai. The Gaana service will be available across UberBlack, UberGo, UberWiFi, and UberSUV, and users will also get a 2 month Gaana+ subscription for the pilot. Globally, Uber offers a similar service through Spotify.
Gaana currently claims to have 10 million songs in 22 languages and 42 million app downloads. Its Uber partnership is similar to the one it has with Micromax. In October 2015, smartphone maker Micromax invested an undisclosed amount in Gaana to make the latter available on all Micromax smartphones. The partnership would also provide Micromax users with free trials of Gaana+.
Times’ investment in Uber; Uber’s recent funding
Note that Times Internet’s parent company Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL) and Microsoft invested $1 billion in Uber in August last year. At that time, Uber said that it would use the funds to improve its operators, expand to other cities, develop new products and payment solutions and set up a better support network in India. Later in the same month, Tata Opportunities Fund (TOF) invested an undisclosed amount in Uber, to expand its services and solutions in India. Of course, last week, Uber raised $3.5 billion from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund for its global entity Uber BV and would be used in strategic markets like India, without providing any other details.
Times’ strategic partnership with Uber: In March 2015, Times Internet entered into a strategic partnership with Uber in a deal that was “centered around a commercial marketing arrangement accompanied by a small investment”, according to the company. Reuters reported Times’ investment at $16 million, whereas Economic Times, a Times Group publication, reported this as a $23.5 million (Rs 150 crore) deal.
Gaana-The Orchard tie up: In June last year, Gaana tied up with The Orchard, an American music film and video distribution company to add 7 million more ‘indie’ songs to its library, taking its total number of songs to 10 million. At that time, the company claimed to have over 12 million registered users and 15 million app downloads across its website and app.
Uber’s other services in India:
– Last week, Uber said that in Delhi and Bangalore, UberPOOL, the ridesharing service, accounted for 25% of all its trips in these cities, where 50,000 users were using the service weekly.
– Last month, Online cab aggregator Uber has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kempegowda International Airport Bangalore to set up a dedicated parking area and pick up zone for its drivers and passengers.
– In the same month, Uber and Paytm tied up to let the former’s users use Paytm wallet as a means of payment in countries outside India.
– In April, Uber partnered with Housing to let Housing’s users take a Uber cab to visit property listings from Housing’s iOS and Android apps. Uber has similar deals with Practo, Zomato and Google Maps.
– In March, Uber signed an MoU with the Haryana Government to introduce its ridesharing services (including private vehicle ridesharing) and help the government with “smart city” development in the state.
*Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama