Coca-Cola joins forces with Musicmatch in marketing venture

MUMBAI: Coca-Cola is seeking to fizz up its brands with a partnership that taps the popularity of online music. The Cola major has teamed up with online music company Musicmatch Inc. on 28 January to promote its Sprite brand. The alliance comes at a time when digital music sales are exploding all over the world and companies are recognising consumers' desire for choice and control over their music.


According to an official release, the partnership will give Sprite consumers in the United States an unparalleled personalised digital music experience and link Musicmatch with millions of consumers through The Coca-Cola Company’s popular Sprite brand. The details of the partnership will be announced later this year.

"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," said Coca-Cola North America senior VP (integrated marketing) Katie Bayne.

Added Coca-Cola North America group director (music) entertainment marketing group, "The Sprite brand has a long history with music, and we believe our partnership with Musicmatch is a great way to bring personalised digital music to US consumers in new and innovative ways," said Geoff Cottrill.

The new partnership with Coca-Cola reinforces Musicmatch’s position as the most successful digital music company to date. Musicmatch has achieved a number of company and product milestones over the past several months that have resulted in a significant increase in Musicmatch Jukebox revenues, digital music downloads, subscribers to its Musicmatch MX service, Musicmatch Radio usage and overall company revenues. The specific milestones include:

* Musicmatch Jukebox: More than 45 million registered software users in 2003, a 25 percent increase over 2002, with more than one million copies of Musicmatch Jukebox Plus sold in 2003.

* Musicmatch Downloads: Now selling more than one million downloads per month.

* Musicmatch MX: More than 170,000 paying subscribers to the company’s subscription radio service, with 100 percent growth over 2002.

* Musicmatch Radio: More than 90 million hours played in 2003, with growth of more than 50 percent over 2002. The company’s Artist MATCH station is the world’s most popular Internet radio station.

* Corporate: Cash flow positive for each of the past 10 quarters, with more than 30 percent growth in overall revenues over 2002.

"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," said Musicmatch president and COO Peter Csathy. "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 added.

Coca-Cola had said in December 2003 that it would also be launching an Internet music download service in Britain this month through which it will begin selling music downloads from a catalog of 250,000 songs supplied from each of the five big music labels.

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