Lyft Creates Media Division to Expand Its Advertising Services

Lyft Inc.

has shaped Lyft Media, a brand new enterprise unit consolidating and increasing the promoting choices on the ride-hailing firm.

The information comes greater than two years after Lyft acquired Halo Automobiles Inc., which makes screens to run digital adverts atop automobiles, and as Lyft faces an more and more crowded market for promoting in and round automobile companies.

Lyft hopes the brand new promoting merchandise can generate income and assist it compete in opposition to rivals like

Uber Applied sciences Inc.,

which entered the media enterprise in 2019, when it began promoting adverts by way of its Uber Eats app. Uber later started providing adverts atop its automobiles and inside its main ride-hailing app.

Past the rooftop adverts, Lyft will now enable manufacturers to serve content material on in-car tablets that riders can use to trace their routes, tip and price drivers, and management the music in every automobile. Lyft has been testing that service in Los Angeles in latest months and expects to supply it in 25% of all rides by year-end in Los Angeles and three different cities, in accordance with a spokeswoman.

The corporate can be promoting adverts on digital show panels at docking stations for bike-share companies it owns, together with New York’s Citi Bike and San Francisco’s Bay Wheels, a spokeswoman mentioned.

Lyft has additionally been providing in-app sponsorships that embody banner adverts and branded icons. In a single early instance,

Vita Coco Co.

ran a marketing campaign known as “The Hangover Shop” on the day after Tremendous Bowl LVI, changing all automobile pictures within the Lyft app with coconuts, mentioned Vita Coco Chief Advertising and marketing Officer Jane Prior.

Lyft will work with third-party corporations to assist advertisers measure marketing campaign efficiency utilizing combination knowledge, however gained’t accumulate private knowledge from riders, mentioned

Kenan Saleh,

basic supervisor of Lyft Media and former chief govt of Halo. Focusing on for app, pill and rooftop adverts shall be primarily based on the time and site of journeys, and riders can flip the tablets off at any time, although fewer than 1% have completed so in check research, Mr. Saleh mentioned.

A portion of income from the show and pill adverts will go to Lyft drivers, although the corporate declined to say how a lot.

“We hope to provide a place for advertisers and drivers to engage with our network, while ultimately providing independent opportunities for drivers to earn money,” mentioned Mr. Saleh.

Lyft’s Bay Wheels bicycles in San Francisco will carry adverts on the digital show panels at docking stations.



Picture:

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg Information

Lyft’s chief rival has formidable plans for its personal advert enterprise.

Mark Grether,

basic supervisor of Uber promoting, informed attendees on the firm’s most up-to-date investor day in February that it may attain $1 billion in advert income by 2024, and Chief Govt

Dara Khosrowshahi

mentioned on Uber’s most up-to-date earnings name that the corporate would proceed increasing its advert gross sales crew.

Lyft declined to touch upon anticipated advert income.

Different corporations have additionally entered the ride-hailing advert enterprise in recent times. Final yr, out-of-home promoting firm Firefly Techniques Inc. acquired Curb Mobility LLC, a New York-based firm whose app helps riders hail each yellow taxis and Uber drivers; it additionally sells adverts atop taxis and thru in-car video service Taxi TV. The community consists of greater than 25,000 screens producing 174 million month-to-month advert impressions across the U.S., mentioned

Jason Gross,

vice chairman of cellular at Curb.

Telecommunications large

T-Cell US Inc.

in January acquired Octopus Interactive Inc., which runs interactive video screens in Uber and Lyft autos to broaden its promoting expertise enterprise. A T-Cell spokeswoman mentioned this service at the moment reaches 10 million riders every month, although she declined to supply advert income totals. Lyft mentioned this enterprise is unrelated to Lyft Media.

Lyft has not too long ago tried to chop prices by shedding 2% of workers and folding the a part of its enterprise that allowed customers to lease automobiles on the app. Final week, the corporate reported stronger-than-expected income within the second quarter, which President

John Zimmer

attributed partially to cost-cutting measures.

Demand for ride-hailing companies has remained sturdy regardless of the financial downturn, with inflation main extra folks to complement their earnings by turning into drivers, mentioned Mr. Khosrowshahi on Uber’s earnings name.

After enduring the pandemic, ride-share corporations like Uber and Lyft are actually dealing with a brand new world of excessive inflation, driver shortages, and dwindling passenger numbers. WSJ’s George Downs explains what they’re doing to try to survive. Illustration: George Downs

Write to Patrick Espresso at patrick.espresso@wsj.com

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