Uber has officially launched its advertising division and unveiled its in-app ad experience, Journey Ads, in an attempt to drive more revenue. The company said Wednesday it will sell ad space inside its ride-hailing and Uber Eats apps, as well as in-vehicle digital ads, sponsored mails and storefront ads.
Uber has historically tried to add on many different verticals, usually transportation-focused ones, to increase its revenue streams. But one by one, the company dropped those moonshots — Uber sold off its eVTOL unit Elevate to Joby Aviation, offloaded its Jump e-bikes to Lime and sold its self-driving car unit Uber ATG to Aurora. The company also spun out its robotics arm, which is now Serve Robotics.
But one tried and true and deeply American way to make some extra cash is through advertising. News publishers learned this long ago, Netflix is even doing it, and now Uber has cottoned onto the rather annoying profit pool — just a few months after Lyft created its own media division focused on in-app ads.
Headed by ex-Amazon Advertising executive Dr. Mark Grether, Journey Ads has already secured over 40 brand partners, including NBCUniversal, Heineken and United Artists Releasing, Uber said. Riders won’t immediately be inundated with a range of ads when they open the app — instead, Uber is guaranteeing brands have “100% share of voice during the entire trip,” which the company said resulted in two to six times the brand-performance lift after customers were exposed to the ad content for about two minutes, compared to other benchmarks.
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