With Apple, AOL, HP and Pepsi-Cola in one corner, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Europe's OD2 network and former Apple software partner MusicMatch, and announced a partnership in the US.
Coca-Cola and MusicMatch are teaming up to promote Sprite. Details of the arrangement will be announced later this year, the companies said.
Coca-Cola North America senior vice president integrated marketing Katie Bayne said: "Our new partnership with Musicmatch is an example of the kinds of relationships we are always looking for, where both companies understand each other’s objectives and can create mutually beneficial programming that delivers great value to consumers."
MusicMatch claims to be "the most successful digital music company to date", and states itself to be selling in excess of one million downloads each month.
Company president Peter Csathy said: "MusicMatch has just completed the most successful quarter in the history of the company, with significant growth in all areas of our business and a tremendous start to 2004.
"We are thrilled to be a part of The Coca-Cola Company’s efforts to bring legitimate music services to millions of consumers. This relationship demonstrates that Musicmatch has the right product and service offerings for our partners, the ability to appeal to the broadest set of consumers, and the passion to work with major partners to enhance their brands with digital music promotions," he said.
The battle between Apple, Pepsi, Coke and other players looks set to intensify in Europe. Coca-Cola announced its plans to take the fight to UK consumers in a twenty-million-song give-away through its OD2 technology-supported MyCokeMusic.com site.
This move takes advantage of delays both Apple and Napster have faced in bringing their services to European markets, and continues a long tradition of bloody warfare between the two US soft-drinks brands.
The Apple/Pepsi 100 million track US music promotion kicks off at the SuperBowl on February 1. A streaming version of the ad that will be shown is currently available online.
It appears all involved in the market are partnering with others as part of their marketing efforts. RealNetworks is working with Heineken, Napster with Miller beer and Sony's service – due for US launch this year – has arranged an upscale partnership with United Airlines.