Today we have a sponsored post from Play Octopus. Play Octopus is an advertising tech company based in Washington, DC that is becoming more popular everyday with drivers and passengers because they’ve figured out a way to make it FUN. As always, all opinions are our own at RSG.
There’s now an entire cottage industry built around paying drivers to place things in front of the captive audience sitting in the back of their cars. Selling stuff, showing display ads, selling jewelry, and even offering MLM products like Scentsy and Herbalife to those patiently waiting to get to wherever they’re going.
However, Play Octopus has a unique take on this cottage industry. They want to provide value by entertaining your passengers with a gaming tablet that offers well-produced games like Trivia, Photo Hunt, or Speed Match while en route to their destinations. The tablet shows video ads between games (including one that encourages them to tip you).
In other words, it’s something your passengers might actually want to see. Instead of focusing on being as annoying and dystopian as possible, Play Octopus focuses on making something original and engaging where everyone actually wins via increased value.
How Much Can A Driver Make?
There are two ways to make extra income through Play Octopus. You can earn by driving with the tablet and by referring other drivers to sign up for Play Octopus.
Play Octopus won’t make a driver wealthy all on its own. However, most drivers I spoke to say it is reasonable to expect an extra $25 a week or $100 per month in income by simply driving and letting the tablet do its thing passively in the back seat.
You can increase your payouts significantly by referring other drivers to Play Octopus, and I feel that the product and business proposition is strong enough to recommend authentically to other drivers. So if referral marketing is your thing, you should go for it with this one.
$25 For 250 Points
Play Octopus awards payment to drivers based on a simple points system. You earn 1 point for each trip you give (as estimated by Play Octopus’s GPS) + ½ a point for each game played by a passenger. You receive $25 for every 250 points.
$25 Per Driver Referral
In addition to earning money via the points system above, drivers can receive $25 for each driver who signs up with your referral code. You can track your referrals via your Play Octopus dashboard.
Earnings may be cashed out as soon as they’re earned and arrive in your bank account same-day or 3-5 days, depending on your bank.
Does Play Octopus Increase Driver Tips?
I’m always a little wary of products claiming to increase driver tips because it’s just downright difficult to track if any one “thing” actually increases tips. That being said, Play Octopus does run some video ads that encourage passengers to tip you and view your driver profile. It’s kind of a mini-ad from Play Octopus where the Call To Action is to tip you, which is already more than what Uber or Lyft do to encourage tipping.
How Play Octopus Makes Their Money
Play Octopus’s business model works by sharing their advertising revenue with drivers. Play Octopus sells ad space to companies (similar to Google ads) and then shows those ads on their proprietary OS (the tablet, with the games and stuff). As passengers play games on Play Octopus, it will show different advertisements between levels, stages, or loading screens.
Play Octopus Is Free For Power Drivers
The tablet, mounting kit, charging cables, and data are free for any driver who gives more than 100 trips per month. Given the initial cost of the tablet, accessories and its data, Play Octopus prefers to maximize its return by partnering with full-time “power” drivers. If you stop driving, Play Octopus will ask you to return the tablet. If you take an extended vacation, send them an email to let them know.
If you go completely MIA with the tablet, then you eventually get charged $200 for the equipment’s replacement cost. So make sure to hold on to the box and equipment in case you need to ship it back. You can ship it back in any box, but holding onto the box it came in will save you from buying a box. Play Octopus will also refund drivers who return the tablet if they are charged. If the tablet is stolen or damaged by a rider, Play Octopus will just ask you to forward along the incident report, and will ship you a replacement for free.
Play Octopus will need your debit card on file so they can pay you or charge for their tablet in case you fail to respond to repeated requests to return it. They verify the account exists by initially taking a small test debit and then redepositing it into your account the next day (like PayPal).
Sign Up For Play Octopus
You can signup using our link and create a profile. Once you complete your profile, Play Octopus will ship you a box with tablet, mounting kit, and charger cables with instructions.
From there, you simply mount the tablet to the rear headrest of your vehicle, turn on the power, and start giving rides. The tablet only displays Play Octopus’s interface so you won’t be able to use it to scroll through your Facebook feed. I’m fine with that.
Where Is Play Octopus Available?
Play Octopus is currently available in the following cities:
- Washington DC
- San Antonio
And they plan to launch soon in:
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- Salt Lake City
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- St. Louis
Factors For Success With Play Octopus
How well you do with a Play Octopus tablet depends on a few factors. Chiefly, the amount of driving you do and how often your passengers engage with the tablet. If you choose to engage in a referral strategy, you can earn more that way too.
Play The Games Yourself
Apart from being a fun way to pass some time, learning the games and questions will help you talk to your passengers about the tablet when they ask about it. It helps that the more they play games, the more points you get as a driver. A lot of the questions in trivia tend to come up often so maybe you can make a joke about them.
Additionally, I think playing some trivia with your passengers could be a lot of fun. The passengers with the highest score each day gets a $25 gift card so maybe you can help them with some questions or make it a fun experience. Tips are far more likely if a ride is memorable or if you share an experience trying to get the highest score for the day together.
Drive (a lot)
The more you drive, the more people who will inevitably use the tablet. I don’t recommend driving more hours to make money with Play Octopus though because it doesn’t exceed more than a dollar an hour extra. That being said, it all adds up.
Again, it helps if you have played the games yourself because you will be able to talk about the tablet more naturally.
Refer Other Drivers
Play Octopus is still relatively new and they have plans to expand to other cities. This means there is still a lot of room to make referral money if you want.
I would start by referring close friends, then maybe reaching out to drivers who you have referred services to in the past (who liked what you recommended). Additionally, you can start your own blog, write about it, and collect the referral reward when people sign up.
My Take On Play Octopus
I tend to be very skeptical about opportunities to earn extra money like this. Even though it makes business sense, there is still always something that feels fishy about turning my car into a NASCAR with ads everywhere. Perhaps because it makes me feel like my car no longer belongs to me anymore.
However, I like Play Octopus because it doesn’t have those downsides. I think most people nowadays are okay with seeing an advertisement between YouTube videos and in free versions of apps (especially games) as long as they are getting something of value in return. Play Octopus focuses earning the eyeballs and engagement of your passengers instead of just beaming the same static ad into someone’s face. Instead of focusing on hyping themselves as the latest ad tech company to target Uber passengers, they so far have focused on bringing value to the table for passengers and drivers.
Additionally, the Play Octopus tablet is relatively low maintenance compared to other options that require restocking products, wrapping your car in advertisements, or installing a giant sign on top of your car that kills your gas mileage. You can just set it up and forget about it until the end of your shift.
You can sign up (and support RSG a little) by using this link. If they are not in your area yet, you can put your name on a waitlist and get notified once they launch in your market.
Drivers, are you more into Trivia or Photo Hunt? Do you think Marky Mark was a real rapper? If so, let us know in the comments section below!
Want More Tips? Deliver With DoorDashDashers receive tips on 97% of their deliveries. DoorDash has a tip button and encourages customers to setup "automatic" tips. Become a dasher here.
-Christian @ RSG
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