Uber Added Nearly 1,000,000 New Drivers in the US Last Month - Lyft Didn't

Ariel Ariel
10/15/22

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #135 - It's a Big Shuffle!. Check out the full article for more insights.


Uber has had a very strange few years. On the one hand, demand for its flagship app dropped significantly when lockdowns hit, but then Uber Eats became red hot as people were stuck at home.

Under the hood there was another shift - many who wanted to free themselves from the office found a more flexible working solution in Uber as drivers.

Uber is now seeing the most new drivers it's ever seen.

In September, Uber Driver, the app you need to be able to drive for Uber, was downloaded 853K times in the US. It was downloaded a similar number of times over the summer as well, by far the best three month stretch for the service.

Uber is facing a bunch of challenges, from the leak it experienced a few months ago that uncovered misguided business practices, to legal battles in many states. But it seems that those are irrelevant when it comes to growing its workforce.

So far this year, Uber Driver was downloaded by 6.4 million people in the US alone. That's a touch higher than 2021 and a bunch higher than 2020. And this year still has two busy months to go before the ball drops.

You might be thinking this isn't about Uber but rather about the gig economy growing. I had that thought too until I looked at downloads of Lyft's equivalent.

Lyft Driver, the app you'd use when driving for Lyft (or when driving for both like many do these days) is not nearly as big...

I wanted an apples-to-apples comparison so I limited the data I analyze to the US even though Uber has a global footprint while Lyft doesn't.

So far in 2022, Lyft Driver saw 1.6 million downloads, which is a smaller number than 2021 and 2022.

This isn't a change in the market but rather Uber's own doing.

Is there enough demand to handle this supply? I'll answer that next week when I'll look at downloads for Uber and Lyft's main apps.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #gig-economy

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