“Hungry for a taste of the online music business, Sony Corp. is aiming to line up McDonald’s Corp. to market the Japanese conglomerate’s new download service, according to people familiar with the deal,” Jeff Leeds reports for The Los Angeles Times. “The two companies have been hammering out the details of a pact in which McDonald’s would provide fast-food diners with free songs from Sony’s online music store, Sony Connect, these people said. The deal is expected to be announced this week.”
“The sources said McDonald’s was expected to commit about $30 million to advertise the program in the U.S. and beef up the launch of Sony Connect, which will charge 99 cents per song when it starts up this spring,” Leeds reports. “The pact would underscore a central strategy of would-be players in the online music world: find major advertisers with the marketing clout to sell alternatives to the illegal downloading of music on unauthorized file-sharing networks such as Kazaa and LimeWire.”
Leeds reports, “Sony has already announced a deal with UAL Corp.’s United Airlines in which travelers, once the Connect service starts, will be able to trade in frequent flier miles for free songs. And Apple Computer Inc. has teamed with PepsiCo Inc. to award buyers of soft drinks downloads from the iTunes Music Store if they find special codes under bottle caps. Pepsi pledged to give away up to 100 million songs in the bottle-cap contest. But Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said recently that the redemptions had fallen short of expectations.”
Leeds reports, “One person familiar with the McDonald’s deal said the fast-food company would probably give away more than 100 million Sony Connect songs in the U.S. McDonald’s had been in talks to launch a similar marketing effort with Apple, but switched plans after a last-minute pitch from Sony, sources said.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Certain analysts and Anti-Apple “Windows experts” will need to send their pants out to the dry cleaners and Steve Jobs needs to get on the horn to Burger King pronto. Nothing’s worse than word leaking of a huge deal (as was the iTunes and McDonald’s deal) and then having it go to a competitor. At least it’s Sony (the service is doomed, no matter how many giveaways they conduct) and not some WMA outfit. Sony Connect is said to utilize Sony’s “ATRAC 3” format and songs can only be transferred to “secure Sony portable audio products.” Notes to McDonald’s: most people use, have, or want iPods or iPod minis. Your giveaway is incompatible with the market-dominating player. Not a smart choice. And please try to serve hot food, or at least melt the cheese, if you can figure out how to do it, okay?