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June 25, 2017

Uber is having trouble holding onto its drivers, according to recent data

by John_A

Why it matters to you

While drivers are downloading the Uber driver app with considerable frequency, they’re not keeping it for very long, and that could spell trouble for Uber.

The bad news just keeps rolling in for Uber. Not only has there been a shakeup at the very top of the company, but the folks who make up the base of the transportation giant also seem to be leaving. We’re talking, of course, about Uber drivers. According to data provided to TechCrunch by app analytics firm Apptopia, Uber’s new driver retention rates have seen a precipitous decline in the U.S.

According to Apptopia’s analysis of app downloads and usage of Uber, 30-day user retention for the Uber driver app is down 47 percent from January to May. As TechCrunch noted, “This measure looks at the proportion of users opening the app each day after the initial day of download — continuing until the 30th day … the idea being to measure engagement meaningfully versus looking at app deletions (as lots of people just stop using an app versus actively deleting it).”

Curiously enough, over the same period of time, the number of driver app downloads actually increased by 20 percent. But if the Apptopia’s data (and its interpretation) is correct, while Uber is doing a solid job of getting folks to initially come onboard, they’re having trouble getting them to stay.

We should point out that Apptopia doesn’t obtain any of its data directly from Uber, but rather pulls from a network of 250,000 apps that it has developer account access to. This, the firm says, gives way to “strong trend data for major apps.”

While Uber has pulled in plenty of negative headlines as of late, it’s unclear as to how much of an impact that ultimately has on its driver retention rates (though users could be a whole different story). The more likely culprit for the decline is the relatively low pay rate from Uber pool rides, and the historical lack of in-app tipping. Of course, Uber has since remediated this second concern, so perhaps future analysis of the driver app will show that numbers are back up.

Ultimately, it seems safe to say that only time will tell whether or not Uber and its drivers will be able to weather the storm.

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