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How Drivers Can Use Play Octopus to Earn More Money [Full Guide]

By: // Updated: August 29, 2020

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As a rideshare driver for Uber or Lyft, you probably know the importance of having a strong rating. Having a strong driver rating is not only necessary to keep you on the road, but it can maximize earning potential as well.

What if there were a way for you to not only keep your passengers entertained but to put more money in your pocket as well? With Play Octopus, this is possible.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Play Octopus. We’ll go over what it is and how it can help rideshare drivers earn more money with minimal effort, then how to get signed up.


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What Is Play Octopus?

Play Octopus is an advertising network designed for the rideshare industry. The network provides drivers with a tablet on which riders can play a game similar to Cash Cab.

Both the driver and the rider can earn money on the app. The app can enhance the rideshare experience. Because riders can earn cash prizes, they may walk away happier, feeling more inclined to give a bigger tip or better driver profile rating.

The company was first founded in 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland. A few years later, the company started working with advertisers. Co-founder Cherian Thomas recently said, “The rideshare passenger is one of the most sought after audiences for marketers. … We want to ensure buyers and sellers understand the size of the market opportunity, our interactive platform capabilities and most of all, the rideshare audience.”

The platform has a current audience of roughly 2 million unique passengers monthly.

More than 10,000 drivers are utilizing the Octopus entertainment platform. If you’re an Uber or Lyft driver looking to make extra money, Play Octopus provides a unique opportunity to do so. Let’s take a look at how it works.

How Does Play Octopus Work?

Drivers can apply on the Play Octopus website to receive a free tablet. The company will only consider applications from those who complete more than 100 rides per month. The tablet also comes with a mount for the backseat and LTE data.

When a rider gets in the car, the tablet is available to start playing. Riders can enjoy games, trivia, and prizes.

In between games, the tablet will run advertisements. The money paid by advertisers covers:

  • The free tablet
  • Driver earnings
  • Cash prizes for riders

According to the Play Octoput website, more than 90% of drivers who used Play Octopus indicated that they received higher tips or ratings.

The only thing you’ll have to do as a driver to keep the tablet is to complete more than 100 rides per month. Play Octopus requires this metric to ensure they break even from advertisers.

The company asks that you return the device if you are consistently not completing 100 rides per month. If you don’t do so, you may be subject to a lost tablet fee. Although the company will not ask for it back immediately if you don’t complete 100 rides per month, they may do so if you don’t hit minimum requirements for a couple of months in a row.

The tablet comes with sensors so that it can verify that someone viewed the ad. The tablet does not take photos of riders and it seeks to maintain the privacy of both riders and drivers.

As a driver, it does not matter what type of rideshare company you drive for. No matter if you drive for Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare service, you’re eligible to use the Play Octopus app if you complete the minimum ride requirement.

How Can Play Octopus Benefit Rideshare Drivers?

As mentioned, drivers can benefit two different ways when using Play Octopus. For one, they benefit by earning money. The company pays you up to $100 if you complete at least 100 rides as requested.

Furthermore, drivers can earn additional funds by referring new drivers. Each referral results in an additional $25 if a driver signs up and is approved.

Drivers also see residual earnings as a result of using the tablet. Riders enjoy the ride and it tends to spark a fun conversation. Because of this, riders are more inclined to tip well and provide a better rating. A driver rating is a critical component of rideshare driving. Having a higher rating can open the door to other opportunities.

Because it does not cost drivers anything, there is really nothing to be lost by having the Play Octopus tablet in your car. The only potential downside is that you need to give at least 100 rides per month. If you’re not used to doing this already, increasing your total ride count could be a struggle initially.

How Much Can Drivers Earn?

Providing entertainment through Play Octopus can earn you money in different ways, including advertising and driver referral.

The tablet shows ads in between games – and one of those ads encourages the passenger to tip the driver. Sure, some passengers always tip out of courtesy, but a simple suggestive ad that reminds them can make a big difference in your tip intake.

Aside from the extra tips you can earn, drivers can also make up to $100 per month just for getting passengers to play games and view ads.

When a passenger gets in your car, let them know you have Play Octopus and that they can win a $25 gift card if they end up with the highest score of the day. Most passengers love the entertainment and find it a great way to occupy their time while they’re traveling to their destination.

Drivers can also earn money by referring other drivers to join the Play Octopus network. For every new driver you refer, you can make $25.

To refer new drivers, log into your Driver Dashboard and click “referrals” to find your unique code and referral link. Once a new driver signs up for the service and activates their device, you’ll earn $25.

Having a tablet loaded with games in the back of your car provides for a much better, and much more fun, rideshare experience for your passengers. And happy riders tend to give higher ratings.

As a rideshare driver, you know that higher ratings result in more tips, which means more money in your pocket at the end of the week.

Tip for drivers: 

If a passenger wants to interact with you while they’re playing a trivia game, do so.

That way, you can learn some of the trivia answers and help out future passengers who may be stuck on a question.

When new passengers start playing, let them know that you have played the game a few times before and you might be able to help them answer a question or two. Help them get a higher score or win a prize, and you’re more likely to earn a better tip.

Just having the tablet is a great way to engage with passengers.

Some people don’t want to chit chat, and some do. Some riders may interact with you more by asking for help to answer trivia questions, while others may play their game in silence in the back of your car. Some may want to strike up a conversation after reading the details of your profile on your device.

Either way, providing them with a source of entertainment often results in a bigger tip.

How Do Drivers Get Paid?

Monthly payouts are determined by a points system that takes into account how many rides you give each week and each month.

So how does Play Octopus keep track of how many rides you give? GPS, of course.

The tablet uses GPS and tracks your moves every time you begin a new passenger trip. You get one point for every new trip and half a point for each game that a passenger plays.

Depending on how long the ride is, passengers might play one, two, or five games in a ride. So the more passengers that play, the faster you’ll rack up points.

When you get to 250 points, you’ll earn $25.

Play Octopus pays drivers through direct deposit. All you need to do is provide them with your debit card information, and they’ll transfer the money straight to your account every month.

How to Sign Up for Play Octopus

Signing up to use Play Octopus is not an automatic process. Instead, you need to submit an application to be considered for a free tablet. This is primarily because tablets are limited. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the company was sending out around 2,000 new tablets per month.

While we can’t confirm, it’s reasonable to assume that this number has declined. If you are someone with a lot of trips under your belt, you may be better off than others when submitting your application.

You can start by going to the company’s sign-up page. There, you’ll need to enter the following information:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Nearest market — you’ll need to complete a majority of your trips within 50 miles of this city
  • Riders per week

Once you apply, the company will contact you and let you know the status of your application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know what Play Octopus is and how to sign up, you may still want to know more. Here are some answers to common questions.

Where is Play Octopus available?

Play Octopus is available in cities across the United States, although it’s not in every major city yet. It’s currently available in the following cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Houston
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • ​Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Richmond
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington, D.C.

Remember that you need to complete a majority of your trips within 50 miles of this city. The company also plans to soon expand to other cities, such as Cleveland and New Orleans.

How much does the service cost?

Using Play Octopus as a driver does not cost you anything. You’ll receive money when riders compete in games, but you don’t need to pay anything to get started. All you need to do is submit an application and wait for your approval. To be approved, you must make at least 100 rides per month and have been driving for at least two months.

I’ve been approved. Do I need to pick up my tablet?

No, Play Octopus will mail the tablet and accessories to you. The company says that you can set the tablet up and begin using it in as little as five minutes.

How am I paid?

Play Octopus pays using direct deposit to your checking account via your debit card. You’ll need to provide your debit card info if you wish to use the platform.

The company will also use your debit card to charge you a lost tablet fee if you do not return it in a timely fashion after being requested to do so. You can mail your tablet and accessories back in at any time to avoid being charged fees.

What if I lose the tablet?

If you lose the tablet, you will be charged a fee. If the tablet is stolen and you can provide a police report, the company will waive this fee and send you a new device.

Use Play Octopus to Earn More and Keep Riders Happy

If you’re looking for ways to boost your driving earnings, you may want to strongly consider rideshare advertising. Rideshare advertising from Play Octopus requires minimal effort on your part. All you need to do is sign up, set up the tablet, and keep it charged.

The more riders who play games on the tablet and view advertisements, the more money you’ll earn. Plus, you may see your tips and driver rating increase. If you complete more than 100 rides per month, it could be in your best interest to join the community of Play Octopus drivers.

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