We’re being a bit tongue in cheek with the above headline, which plays on the old Coca-Cola slogan, but it’s core to these new partners’ vision. Coca-Cola will underwrite Spotify’s spread to new territories where the service is not let available.
“Coca-Cola’s distribution network is arguably larger than the internet,” said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek at a press briefing in Manhattan on Wednesday. “We’re finding new ways to launch Spotify in new markets… Coca-Cola is partnering with us to bring free music to the world… This is not like any partnership… this is huge milestone for us.”
Clearly, music fans like free music. It’s the most prevalent development in the business of music over the past 15 years and the biggest reason Spotify is the top on-demand music subscription in the world: Unlike its competition, Spotify launched a “freemium” service that allows most users (depending on territory) to listen for as long as they want without paying, or entering a credit card number for a free trial.
The thing is, listeners in Pakistan are not worth as much to advertisers as listeners in the United States from the perspective of an advertiser trying to move product. That’s where Coca-Cola comes in. The company will underwrite Spotify’s free music applications in those countries in an effort to make the service available in every territory in the world (it’s currently in the U.S. and parts of Europe).
In addition to underwriting Spotify’s global expansion, Coca-Cola will work with Spotify on apps, although details were scarce on what those might look like. The first example will be the addition of the Spotify Play Button to Coca-Cola’s Facebook page — the most popular brand page on Facebook, according to Ek, with over 40 million fans. The idea sprang from a recent Spotify Hack Day in New York from the “London Calling” team.
Spotify’s presence on Coca-Cola’s Facebook page will involve some degree of curation by Coca-Cola, and will roll out in the next four-to-six weeks, according to what Coca- Cola director of global entertainment marketing Joe Belliottii told Evolver.fm. The play buttons will launch at this year’s Olympics and continue through the holiday season into 2013. Coca-Cola will also work on other implementations, although details were not clear — other than that this will not just be about slapping the Coke logo next to Spotify’s music.
“This is not about advertising,” said Belliotti. “We want to have an experience within Spotify, Facebook, and then mobile.”
As part of the deal, Coca-Cola will also promote Spotify through live events, promotions, television, and digital media.