Uber enters the media game with a magazine for its drivers

Uber will be publishing a quarterly magazine for its drivers in six of its markets — New York City, Ohio, Boston, Oklahoma, Chicago and San Francisco. You can see the digital version here.

According to Business Insider which reported the news first, the print version of the magazine will have articles on best driving practices and tips, like where to use the restroom when you’re on driving duty and how to work out in the car. It will also have its share of pro-Uber propaganda, like fluffy interviews with drivers who love Uber. The magazine will provide Uber a direct line to its drivers, perhaps one they’re more likely to pay attention to than the emails sent from the company.

After this story published, Uber confirmed the news and told me this issue took the company five months to put together. A range of people were consulted for it like drivers, managers of various markets, and those at Uber’s SF home base.

The magazine will be named Momentum, after Uber’s driver rewards program which launched last November to tackle a range of issues. It helps its drivers, which are independent contractors, find personal health insurance, for one thing. It also offers nationwide discounts with wireless carriers and at mechanics’ shops like AutoZone and JiffyLube.

Could a magazine for riders come next? It’s not hard to imagine a world where you clamber into the backseat of the car and entertain yourself on the ride with the magazine in the seat back pocket. But beige, dishwater-y airline publication SkyMall recently declared bankruptcy, suggesting that transportation magazines are a tough business in an era of mobile connectivity.

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