By Patrick Coffee
Lyft Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208999293/composite LYFT +2.40% has formed Lyft Media, a new business unit consolidating and expanding the advertising offerings at the ride-hailing company.
The news comes more than two years after Lyft acquired Halo Cars Inc., which makes monitors to run digital ads atop cars, and as Lyft faces an increasingly crowded marketplace for advertising in and around car services.
Lyft hopes the new advertising products can generate revenue and help it compete against rivals like Uber Technologies Inc. /zigman2/quotes/211348248/composite UBER +1.70% , which entered the media business in 2019, when it started selling ads through its Uber Eats app. Uber later began offering ads atop its cars and within its primary ride-hailing app.
Beyond the rooftop ads, Lyft will now allow brands to serve content on in-car tablets that riders can use to track their routes, tip and rate drivers, and control the music in each car. Lyft has been testing that service in Los Angeles in recent months and expects to offer it in 25% of all rides by year-end in Los Angeles and three other cities, according to a spokeswoman.
The company is also selling ads on digital display panels at docking stations for bike-share services it owns, including New York’s Citi Bike and San Francisco’s Bay Wheels, a spokeswoman said.
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