With bands bailing out of labels and offering music for free, and with brands like Doritos finding and promoting new music talent, who do you think are the three biggest names in music right now? A hint - one starts with "i" and the other sounds a lot like Amazon.
For now I'd argue the third spot will be filled by a rotating cast of brands - between Starbucks entertainment exclusives and distribution, Coke music and now Pepsi Stuff music promotions, brands have a strong chance to play kingmakers in the new music landscape - even with anemic participation and/or redemption:
"Regardless of which labels ultimately sign on, the [Pepsi] Super Bowl commercials will nonetheless double as the coming-out party for Amazon's digital download site, which soft-launched Sept. 25...Given the steep decline in U.S. CD sales-so far, down 18.6% year to date compared with last year-music executives have been vocally worried about what the new year will bring for the physical format. By switching to a digital format that is compatible with all portable devices-including the all-important iPod-the move could help merchants like Wal-Mart and Amazon capture some of iTunes' 70% market share, and perhaps grow the overall size of the digital marketplace."
- "A tipping point for MP3's", by Ed Christman, for Billboard
Some episodes of drinkin' and rhymin':
- 02/04 - Pepsi and iTunes teamed up for a 100 Million song promotion. Interestingly, the promo saw only a 5% redemption rate with just 5 Million songs 'won'
- 05/16/07 - Coke and iTunes team up to give fans 2 Billion on-pack chances to win music in Europe
- 11/30/07 - Amazon + Pepsi to give away "up to" a billion songs, promotion to tip off with Superbowl. The hook? 5 Billion codes distributed, and 5 codes from 5 caps together net you 1 song + a burst bladder