Video Ads Are Coming to Some Uber and Lyft Cars in NYC — and You Can’t Mute Them

Mar 8, 2018

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Get ready for your future Uber and Lyft rides to have a lot more chatter.

That’s because the two ride-hailing companies are planning to add video advertising screens that cannot be muted to thousands of its drivers’ cars, The New York Post reports.

The screens, somewhat similar to the ones in New York’s yellow taxis, will be able to be turned down and become near dark, but not completely muted or turned off. “We may add an off button in the future, depending on how users respond,” James Bellefeuille, founder of the ad company providing the screens, said to the Post.

Advertising company Vugo has a contract to provide about 3,500 black car drivers in New York City with the screens. Drivers for the ride-share companies will earn extra money from the ad screens — totaling about $100-$200 of extra income.

Bellefeuille told the Post Vugo’s screens will allow passengers to curate their own content by choosing from channels featuring music videos, comedy or sports.

Previously, the Taxi and Limousine Commission prohibited video ad screens in cars that were not medallion taxis or street hail liveries. In 2015, Vugo sued New York City to change the law, and in February, a judge ruled in favor of Vugo adding its screens to Ubers and Lyfts throughout the city.

TPG reached out to Uber, Lyft and Vugo but did not immediately hear back.

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