Simple.  Lyft (-1 pt @ 69) punched Uber (+1 pt @ 93) in the proverbial company nose last August.

But how time flies.  It wasn’t but a few months ago that Lyft was seriously threatening Uber’s escalating market position in the hotly contested car sharing sector.  Both were throwing accusations at each other and the media turned it into a reporters’ feeding frenzy.

mediaQuant is currently tracking the top 25 brands in the Car Sharing category:

The two rivals are undercutting each other’s prices, poaching drivers and co-opting innovations, increasingly blurring the lines between the two services.  And the media may well be the final arbiter of who’s going to take the long-term lead.

Speaking of media, the battle for media share between these two is anything but over, and the stakes are very high.  Both companies are riding amazing valuations with Uber claiming close to a $40 billion valuation.  While only a tenth of Uber’s value, Lyft is no lightweight at $4 billion.

We’ve posted a few times on Uber and Lyft before, but I wanted to take a quick look back at how the groundswell of media attention elevated both brands in August 2014.  The fierce competitive actions by both brands led to considerable media attention.

Lyft saw a +11 point increase over the July/August 2014 period, all due to competitive name-calling with Uber.  While Lyft was not able to leverage said spotlight into sustained momentum, the brand did manage to hold onto its strong 70+ media rating over the ensuing 5-month period.

How about Uber?  The company squeezed +13 point increase out of the same escalating media frenzy, placing the brand in 90 point media rating range ever since.  Uber appears to be holding on to what media momentum occurred during that period, while Lyft hasn’t been able to convert the coverage into sustained media attention.

There are lots of reasons for the divergent media momentum numbers, but essentially it comes down to block-and-tackle marketing and media programs.  Uber is aggressively pursuing new markets and creating quite a media wake in its path.  Lyft appears to be taking a more calculated and careful expansion path while trying to secure more capital to match the $1.2 billion Uber banked last June.

We include media value figures to help wrap the media rating metric in additional context.  Lyft has generated nearly $40 million in trailing 12-month media value.  Again, this is a fraction of Uber’s $503 million in 12-month media value.

Download the full Car Sharing Brand report for a complete profile of all the brands we’re tracking in the category.  mediaQuant updates media rating positions every month, so subscribe to our full tracking catalog of 4,000+ brands, trends and influencers here.