Pepsi’s Apple iTunes promo nightmare, only 5 million songs redeemed total

“Apple Computer said Wednesday that about 5 million free songs have been given away through a Pepsi promotion, far fewer than the 100 million tracks that could have been redeemed. An Apple representative said the music giveaway was probably the biggest ever of its kind but admitted that the company gave away fewer songs than it had intended,’ Ina Fried reports forCNET News. “‘We had hoped the redemptions would have been higher,’ said Katie Cotton, Apple’s vice president of worldwide corporate communications. Customers with winning bottle caps have until Friday to redeem their free music tracks.”

“Cotton noted that the yellow-capped bottles with the Apple song codes were late in reaching some key markets. However, Cotton said the promotion did introduce a lot of people to iTunes. The 5 million free tracks Pepsi gave away were included as part of Apple’s statement earlier Wednesday that it has sold 70 million songs in the first year of its music service. Apple said last fall that it hoped to distribute 100 million tracks in its first year, but when that figure was calculated it was expected that more winning bottle caps would be redeemed,” Fried reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Not good. Not good at all. It’s nice to see our suspicions confirmed that Apple would be counting the Pepsi giveaway songs in the one year anniversary total, but only 5 million redemptions? Now, where the hell are those other 95 million caps?!


  1. I live in the Memphis area, not exactly the sticks and have YET to see anything other than a Sierra Mist with a yellow cap and they did not start appearing until late March. At the launch, Pepsi had these ugly silver caps with some local NBA Grizzlies promotion. Pepsi screwed up the promo badly. Sierra Mist is a reasonable 7-Up clone, but I wouldn’t drink Pepsi or Diet Pepsi if you gave it to me. Make mine a Diet Coke.

    Steve Jobs take note:
    Coke is the Real Thing
    Pepsi is an overly sweet, flat clone favored by fat women everywhere.

  2. I’m currently at 20 wins out of 43 attempts. We got the bottles late–about five weeks ago. I’ve still got ten songs to redeem.

    Not that I expect Apple to comment, nor do I expect 30 million to show up at the last minute, but I would be curious to see how many are waiting until the end.

  3. when iTMS Worldwide launches, look for a Pepsi 1 Billion give-away… then now know they have nothing to worry about… and although the sales didn’t materialize, there was a ton of FREE publicity on all sides.

  4. Pepsi sucks and their sorry assed distribution killed this thing. And as has been speculated, it was probably on purpose in order to keep Pepsi’s costs down. That’s the last time Apple should deal with this particular sugar water selling company…first John Sculley and now this.

  5. People aren’t going to redeem these caps because its fucking stupid. Most people use p2p a free song who gives a fuck? We always get are songs free. No one will bother with the whole process of it when they can get it a lot simpler. People are just not going to bother with it.

  6. It seems to me that for this kind of promotion to be fair to the consumer the redemption period should follow the distribution period (i.e. the redemption begins after all of the caps have been claimed/purchased) As far as who wins here…if it’s not the curious consumer…it’s a big loss all the way around.


  7. It was nearly 2 months from the launch date of the Pepsi/iTunes promo before I saw a yellow cap. That’s a long wait. Besides….I don’t drink Pepsi that much.

  8. I think it was too large a promotion considering that the legal music download business is only 2 years old.

    I reckon the McDonalds promo will end up the same result.

    It’s a new market with a new business model – no one knows how to play this thing totally right yet.

    Apple are nearly there though, certainly nearer than any of the competition.

  9. Name Witheld:
    Sounds about right, and it also sounds like fraud. There are lews regarding how contests and promotions and if that kind of conduct isn’t against the law- it should be.

  10. Apple were naive kids on the block with this one.
    Not only did they not have new computers to sell during the promotion, their mini ipod sales got slammed by not having enough product to sell…and they will get the bad press that most people could care less about Apple itunes stuff.
    Any Marketing 101 student will tell you that redemptions of coupons and such only have a 2-5% redemption rate.
    And everybody seems to think that everyone wants to download songs from the internet. Not so – this is mainly a under 21 deal and how many of those have cash to buy apple products, let alone a case of Pepsi.
    ipod, itunes, etc. are all fads destined to fade…
    Why? The entire process of iTunes is just too time consuming and a hassle (however minor it is) to download a song from the internet.
    Just as going on eBay was fun for awhile, both buying and selling gets old quick. Too much time wasted, too much hassle.

  11. This doesn’t surprise me at all. This is why company’s like rebates, people are lazy and don’t want to be bothered. Factor into that many people still don’t use iTunes and you get a 5% redemption rate.

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