Uber will soon start showing video ads inside its apps. The videos will appear when you’re waiting for a car, on the go, after ordering food from Uber Eats, in search results, and in other parts of the app. Advertisements can also be seen on tablets that are installed in some Uber cars.
The innovation will appear in the US already this week. Later, the company plans to activate video advertising in Australia, Great Britain, France and other markets.
Static ads have been seen in Uber apps for several years. Mark Grether, vice president and general manager of Uber Ads, said the company is on track to generate $1 billion in ad revenue by 2024.
In-app video ads will be muted by default (in-vehicle tablets will have audio enabled). The duration of videos is up to 90 seconds. An average Uber ride lasts about 15 minutes, with users typically spending two to three minutes browsing the app. “We have two minutes of your attention. We know where you are, we know where you are going to, we know what you have eaten,” Grether told the Journal. “We can use all of that to then basically target a video ad towards you.”
The company states that it will not share personal data with advertisers. You will be able to opt out of targeted advertising based on demographic data and your activity in the Uber apps, but you will not be able to opt out of advertising altogether. Unless, of course, you lock your phone or open another application.
It is not yet clear whether it will be possible to immediately close the ad once it starts playing. If not, users may temporarily be unable to use some features of the Uber apps, such as safety tools or contacting a driver or courier.