Lyft Creates Media Division to Expand Its Advertising Services

Lyft Inc.

has fashioned 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 advertisements atop vehicles, and as Lyft faces an more and more crowded market for promoting in and round automotive providers.

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 advertisements via its Uber Eats app. Uber later started providing advertisements atop its vehicles and inside its main ride-hailing app.

Past the rooftop advertisements, Lyft will now permit manufacturers to serve content material on in-car tablets that riders can use to trace their routes, tip and charge drivers, and management the music in every automotive. 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 response to a spokeswoman.

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

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

Vita Coco Co.

ran a marketing campaign referred to as “The Hangover Shop” on the day after Tremendous Bowl LVI, changing all automotive photographs within the Lyft app with coconuts, stated Vita Coco Chief Advertising and marketing Officer Jane Prior.

Lyft will work with third-party companies to assist advertisers measure marketing campaign efficiency utilizing mixture information, however gained’t gather private information from riders, stated

Kenan Saleh,

common supervisor of Lyft Media and former chief government of Halo. Focusing on for app, pill and rooftop advertisements can 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 executed so in take a look at research, Mr. Saleh stated.

A portion of income from the show and pill advertisements 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,” stated Mr. Saleh.

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



Picture:

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg Information

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

Mark Grether,

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

Dara Khosrowshahi

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

Lyft declined to touch upon anticipated advert income.

Different corporations have additionally entered the ride-hailing advert enterprise lately. Final 12 months, out-of-home promoting firm Firefly Programs Inc. acquired Curb Mobility LLC, a New York-based firm whose app helps riders hail each yellow taxis and Uber drivers; it additionally sells advertisements atop taxis and thru in-car video service Taxi TV. The community contains greater than 25,000 screens producing 174 million month-to-month advert impressions across the U.S., stated

Jason Gross,

vice chairman of cell at Curb.

Telecommunications large

T-Cellular US Inc.

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

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

John Zimmer

attributed partly to cost-cutting measures.

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

After enduring the pandemic, ride-share corporations like Uber and Lyft at the moment are 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 attempt to survive. Illustration: George Downs

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

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