Uber has finally launched its new membership programme in the UK, as the ride-hailing giant desperately pivots towards a recurring revenue models.
Uber One will bring together discounted Uber rides and delivery services for £5.99 per month or an annual price of £59.99. The subscription will also offer member-only upgrades, as well as access to perks including special offers, promotions, and invite-only experiences.
The new offering marks the first time Uber has launched a subscription service in the UK, following successful launches in 18 markets globally, including the US, Mexico and Germany.
After launching in the US last November, Uber saw American members spending 2.7 times more than non-members, and the overarching idea of subscriptions is higher monetisation.
Head of Membership at Uber Awaneesh Verma also called the Uber One rollout in the UK as a “fantastic opportunity for customers to save money with Uber”.
However, Head of TMT Research at Mirabaud GTS Group Neil Campling said that while the pivot sounds like a good idea “in theory”, “the reality is that Uber are caught between a rock and a hard place”.
Indeed, the company have tried a number of subscription offerings in the past, including Uber Pass, Rides Pass and Eats Pass.
The reality is that rivals like Lyft and Deliveroo also offer their own loyalty schemes, which are drawing Brits in and away from Uber.
As Campling told City A.M.: “Loyalty programs are common place and not unique; whether it be the Lyft Pink service launched in the US in 2019, or Deliveroo Plus in the UK”, adding that subscription fatigue is also setting in for many consumers.
“There is no discernible evidence that Uber has seen a financial or competitive advantage since offering Uber One in the US last year, and there is no reason to think UK consumers (or German or Mexican where it has also been launched in May) will suddenly go rushing to sign up”, he added.
The ride-hailing giant notably announced a new wave a cost cutting earlier this month, City A.M. reported.
In an internal email sent to staff, chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi emphasised the importance of shareholders in the company’s strategy moving forward.
“Please bear in mind that while investors don’t run the company, they do own the company – they’ve entrusted us with running it well,” he told employees. “Channeling Jerry Maguire, we need to show them the money.”