Checking Up on Lyft’s Market Share
Research Intelligence

Checking Up on Lyft’s Market Share

May 16, 2018 | Updated June 22, 2022
  • Lyft recently announced a 40% increase in its share of the ride-sharing market. 
  • While Uber is installed on 4x as many devices as Lyft, users are more than twice as likely to open Lyft than Uber on any given day.
  • Daily active users is the best way to determine the true market share of both Lyft and Uber.

A recent article quoted the CFO of Lyft and claimed that the company now has, “35 percent of the national ride-sharing market.”

 The last 18 months have been a period of incredible, sustained growth for Lyft,” CFO Brian Roberts said. “There are no signs of that momentum slowing down.

The CNBC article went on to question those figures suggesting that they may be an overestimation with an unsubstantiated report of rival Uber’s own metrics pegging Lyft back to 30% or less market share.

What’s Really Happening With Lyft?

In the past 18 months, the number of US Android devices with the Lyft app installed has more than doubled. Where previously Uber was installed on seven times more Android devices, it now has less than four times as many devices as Lyft.

Active App Users

While current installs tell us about the number of devices on which the app is installed, there is more to understand about how often the app is used. Active app usage defines the average proportion of users with a particular app installed who open that app on a daily basis. Comparing Lyft and Uber, we see that over 5% of devices with Lyft installed open the app on any day. The same metric for Uber is just over 2%.

Daily Active Users

Combining the proportion of active app users for each app, relative to the total number of Android devices in the US is the best way to determine market share. Measuring daily active users shows that the ratio of Uber usage to Lyft usage across all Android devices is roughly 3:2. In other words, Lyft has almost 40% of the combined daily usage of Uber and Lyft. Adding in all the minor ride-sharing players in the US to this dominant pair makes Lyft’s claim of  35% of the total market clearly defensible.

Conclusion

Based on the evidence from Android data only, it seems Lyft’s claim holds up.

Not every claim needs to be taken at face value, but when you can prove your claim with data, you generate trust and goodwill.

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