Uber-Spotify tie-up set for launch

Alternative taxi service Uber will court its wired clientele with a feature announced Monday: custom music via internet music streaming service Spotify.

In a blog post, Uber said the new service would allow passengers to remotely control music playing in certain streaming-enabled cars by linking their Uber and Spotify profiles in the Uber app.

The service will start Friday in London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto, and expand to more cities in coming weeks, Uber said.

Spotify has more than 50 million active users, 12.5 million of them paid subscribers. The Swedish company is embroiled in a high-profile spat with top-selling recording artist Taylor Swift, who pulled her music from Spotify two weeks ago amid an industry-wide debate over royalties.

San Francisco-based Uber operates in 45 countries, and says it has millions of customers and hundreds of thousands of drivers in its network. But it has drawn protests by taxi operators and scrutiny by regulators in the US and Europe who say the ride-sharing company is an illegal and unregulated taxi service.

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Uber-Spotify tie-up set for launch