How Drivers Can Use Play Octopus to Earn More Money

Whether you work for Uber, Lyft, or some other rideshare service, there’s one thing that all drivers have in common: the desire to make more money.

Working during peak times will earn you more money per ride. Providing passengers with water bottles and snacks is a good way to get tips.

But did you know you can earn even more just by getting passengers to play games while they’re in the back of your car?

You can. And it’s called Play Octopus. More than 7,000 rideshare drivers are already using it – and they’re earning up to an extra $100 each month.

Curiosity peaked?

It should be. Today we’re taking a hard look at Play Octopus and what it’s all about. Keep reading to learn how you can use it to make more money in your rideshare.

Jump to:

  • What is Play Octopus?

    Play Octopus is an entertainment-based game service designed specifically for rideshare passengers. After all, who doesn’t like to play games?

    Here’s the gist of it:

    Drivers get tablets to place in the back of their car. Passengers can use those tablets to play games and earn cash prizes while they’re en route to their destination. They can also learn a bit more about their driver by viewing the driver profile on the device.

    Play Octopus encourages riders to tip drivers

    The tablet and coordinating equipment are free. Rideshare drivers can use it to put a chunk of extra change into their pocket each month. You can earn up to $100 per month just by getting passengers to use the tablet to play games while they’re in your car.

    And as more and more drivers add the Play Octopus tablet to their car, customers are becoming more aware of it. In the cities where the service exists, customers know about it, and they look forward to getting into a car that has it.

    If you’ve ever watched Cash Cab, it’s kind of like that – except you’re not on camera and the driver isn’t the one asking you questions (the tablet does that).

    How Does it Work?

    The Play Octopus tablet includes games such as Trivia, Photo Hunt, and Speed Match.

    The trivia game asks a series of general knowledge questions. The Photo Hunt game requires you to spot the differences between two similar pictures. And Speed Match calls for matching images.

    Passengers play the games while they’re in your car and try to score as many points as possible.

    The app records scores throughout the day. At midnight, the person with the highest score for the day will win a $25 Amazon gift card. And that’s a pretty decent daily prize, considering you can win while you’re just sitting idly in the back of your ride.

    For getting passengers to play those games (and view the ads in between), drivers earn extra money. The payout depends on how many people see the ads and how frequently passengers make use of the tablet. That means it’s in the drivers’ best interest to encourage passengers to play some games.

    The service is currently available in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Antonio, Houston, and Washington DC.

    Wishing it was available in your city? The company plans to expand to more than 20 new markets soon, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    Can Any Driver Get a Free Tablet?

    Play Octopus provides rideshare drivers with free tablets, free mounts, and free LTE data.

    But not every driver is eligible for the package.

    You need to give over 100 rides per month to qualify.

    As long as you continue to do over 100 rides per month, you can keep the tablet and accessories. If you drop below 100 rides per month, you’ll need to return the equipment.

    Why do you need to give 100 rides per month? The answer is simple: MONEY.

    Play Octopus makes their money by selling ad space to restaurants and retail partners who display ads in between games. In order to be profitable, those ads need to be viewed a certain amount of times per month. If you give less than 100 rides, those ads won’t be viewed as often as the company requires.

    If you consistently do more than 100 rides per month, you have nothing to worry about – you can get the free equipment and enjoy it for as long as you like. But if your rideshare business slows down and your monthly rides dip below 100, you’ll need to return the tablet.

    In certain cities, drivers have to pay a small deposit fee. This deposit fee covers the cost to distribute and ship the gear to you. When you return the tablet and equipment, that deposit will be returned to you.

    And if you think you can skip off with a free tablet, you’re dead wrong.

    If you stop driving or drop below 100 rides per month, Play Octopus will know it. You can’t just disappear with their tablet and accessories. If you do, they’ll charge you $200 to replace the equipment.

    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.

    Play Octopus can help drivers earn more and make better tips

    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.

    Play Octopus isn’t the only way drivers can make more money through ads. Check out our report on Wrapify.

    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.

    Should you have a tip box? We go over the pros and cons here.

    What Do Drivers Think About Play Octopus?

    So what do actual drivers think about Play Octopus? As with everything in life, the reviews are mixed.

    Here’s what some current rideshare drivers have to say:

    Outstanding reviews 

    From the Play Octopus website :

    Carlos A says:

    “Just got my Play Octopus last week and my pax love it! Had a group ask me last night to make another block so they could keep playing.”

    Matt H writes:

    “Just got my first payout…$50 for having a cool tablet people love in my car during rides. Pretty awesome!”

    Suzan M says:

    “After only a month with the tablet, my pax are tipping like crazy and having a blast! LOVE the smiles and giggles coming from the backseat.”

    Loretta Y writes:

    “So I received my Octopus yesterday I put in my car and every rider I had played it and asked questions…The awkward silence is gone out of my car!!”

    Brad S:

    “My rating has increased 6 points to 4.98 since installing Play Octopus in my car.”

    Negative Reviews

    And, as to be expected, there are those that don’t view it quite as favorably.

    This RideGuru forum has quite a few skeptics who aren’t sold on the idea:

    RedANT writes:

    “More work than its worth. Are you willing to set it up everyday? How much time will it take to mount at the beginning of every shift, take down at the end of your shift, to charge, clean and maintain? Unless you’re making a lot of money, it probably isn’t worth the time and effort.”

    DonutDrivers writes:

    “…Another thing to clean between fares. Made very tiny money.”

    SyedAli says:

    “They told me that the tablets are fee, which all sounds nice, but it’s not like I get to use it. It’s still theirs and it’s an advertising machine for them.”

    Our suggestion? Try it out for yourself. The equipment and tablet are free, so there’s no harm in trying it out. If it doesn’t bring in any extra income, you can return it.

    But if it can generate a few extra tips, a few dollars in Octopus compensation, or even better ratings, it’s worth a try!

    Our Take

    Here’s the bottom line:

    Play Octopus isn’t the only rideshare entertainment platform. SURF, Vugo, and Rideplay all provide in-car entertainment options for riders that use Uber and Lyft. As the rideshare industry continues to grow, more and more companies are trying to profit off hardworking drivers and captive audiences.

    But, we appreciate that Play Octopus provides passengers with some actual entertainment. Everyone likes playing games. And, the longer your ride or commute may be, the more likely it is that you’ll take advantage of the tablet.

    After all, if you have the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card at the end of the day, then why not?

    It encourages just the right amount of interaction without chatting the entire way or sitting in silence through a long ride.

    Plus, if you can get new drivers to sign up for the Octopus service, you can earn an additional $25 for every driver you refer.

    Play Octopus seems to be a win-win for everyone involved.

    With free tablets for gaming and brief ads that encourage riders to tip, drivers and passengers seem to be enjoying the Play Octopus tablet.

    Passengers enjoy playing games and like having the chance to win a prize at the end of the day. And drivers like that passengers have a way to entertain themselves.

    Looking for a way to boost your ratings and earn bigger tips? Trying to find a new way to keep your passengers entertained when they’re in the back of your car? If you’re a driver for Uber, Lyft, or some other rideshare service, sign up to get your free tablet now.

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