Apple has teamed up with India's largest ride-sharing service Ola to offer Apple Music as part of the company's connected car platform. Dubbed Ola Play, the in-car experience gives passengers the ability to control music, navigation, and the air conditioning through a 10-inch tablet mounted in the car. The platform also allows customers to watch videos, read ebooks, get recommendations on nearby landmarks and shopping destinations.
Ola is partnering with Qualcomm on the hardware front, and will also offer content from Sony LIV, Audio Compass, and Fynd in addition to Apple. The idea with Ola Play is to make every cab ride "better than your personal car ride," according to Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal:
With over 60 million minutes spent in Ola rides every day, the impact on consumer comfort, convenience and productivity can be transformative. This will further propel ride-sharing as the first choice of mobility for many more millions.
Apple Music brings the best features together for an experience every music lover will appreciate. Coming together with the market leader in music, will completely transform the ride experience for millions of Indians on the move.
The move is similar to Uber's partnership with Spotify in 2014, but Ola is looking to create a better user experience by offering personalised recommendations. Ola Play will learn from customers' usage habits to offer tailored suggestions, and the platform will be integrated into the Ola app, making it easier to share for passengers to play their own Apple Music playlists.
As for Apple, the deal gives the company another foothold in the connected car space, while providing a new avenue for Apple Music. Ola Play will be making its way to Ola Prime cabs in Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi in a week's time, and will be available in over 50,000 vehicles by March 2017.