The King of Pop and Music

Dec 09, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Is the king of pop going to be the next king of pop music?

Coca-Cola announced yesterday it is going to take on the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Virgin and Wal-Mart in launching an online music store in the United Kingdom.

The store,, will go live in January with 250,000 tracks from various record companies. Consumers
in the UK will be able to download songs for a pound.

Martin Norris, the director of communications for Coca-Cola Great Britain, said the soft drink manufacturer is looking for the service to provide it with another way to connect
with its consumers.

Some are questioning Coke’s move into the music download business.

Michael Goodman, an online music analyst with Yankee Group, said success of the venture will depend on the answer to one simple question, “Is it going to sell more Coke?”

“If they’re trying to make money doing this, it isn’t going to happen,” he added. “As a marketing tool, it’s not a bad idea.”

Coca-Cola says it has no plans to launch a similar service in the US.

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Coke launching a commercial music download site?

Michael Goodman said online music services earn four cents on every dollar, making it a good business for drawing the attention of consumers, but not for
making money.

If we were Coke, we’d ask ourselves how Asda/Wal-Mart was going to react to this. Retailers have been known to have problems with suppliers that take money
out of their tills. Will Coke be able to send enough beverage business Wal-Mart’s way to offset lost dollars it may have in its online and in-store music departments?
Anderson – Moderator

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