Your next Lyft or Uber ride might win you some money. An interactive advertising and entertainment platform for rideshares has announced it will expand to the Austin and Houston markets — just in time for SXSW. Maryland-based Play Octopus has already received thousands of applications from Austin and Houston rideshare drivers wanting the device in their vehicles, according to a press release. And expanding to Texas was an obvious move. “As the leading rideshare advertising company in the country, expanding into Texas’ ride-sharing scene is a necessary first step as we expand outside of the Northeast. Houston and Austin are both tech-driven cities that rely on rideshare for convenient transportation,” says Cherian Thomas, the co-founder and CEO of Play Octopus. The way it works is the company provides free tablets to qualified drivers. Tablets come with a monthly data plan, a mount, the cables required, and up to $100 a month for the driver — not to mention the perks — like tips and ratings — that come with providing riders a new option for ride entertainment. Riders can play games including trivia, “photo hunt” (spotting differences between photos), and “speed match” (matching moving images of sea life) and can win up to $25 at the end of a game. On the other side of the table, advertisers have access to millions of monthly riders and can use branding and geo-targeting ads. Play Octopus launched about a year ago and also operates in New York; Boston; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; and Richmond, Virginia. Houston and Austin are just the start of 2019 growth plans for the platform that is currently featured in over 7,000 vehicles and generates almost 10 million engagements a month.
“Our national expansion is being fueled by our brand and agency partners, and further solidifies the Octopus platform as a key component to media plans,” says Dillon Tedesco, the chief revenue officer of Play Octopus. “As we surpass the 10,000,000 monthly engagement milestone and introduce exciting new ways to interact with our tablets, we’re looking forward to providing our clients with a deeper impact in more cities across the country.”


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