Coke taps Spotify for partnership

Pact features Facebook integration, forthcoming joint app

Music is about to play a larger role in Coca-Cola’s marketing efforts, with the beverage giant inking a promotional partnership with online streaming service Spotify.

Through the pair-up, Coke will integrate Spotify on its Facebook pages, which boast more than 40 million fans, and use the company’s technology to power its Coca-Cola Music program. It will also launch a joint app in the coming months.

The marketing deal should provide Spotify with considerable exposure as it looks for ways to expand its base of paying subscribers and users of its advertising-supported service. That should play out especially well as Coke is a high-profile sponsor of the upcoming London Olympics, with its “Move to the Beat” campaign involving music producer Mark Ronson as it targets teens to promote the social side of the event.

“Coca-Cola is the most recognized and respected brand in the world, and we are proud to be their music partner,” said Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek during a press conference Wednesday. “Spotify and Coca-Cola both believe that music, technology and creativity can connect people around the globe,” and Coke “will help bring Spotify to more parts of the world.”

Announcement follows Spotify’s move to create a button that can be added to websites that enable legal streams of songs and albums to be played.

Spotify added 500,000 subs after the service became available on Facebook. It now has 2.5 million paying listeners, mostly in Europe. Service launched in the U.S. in July. It’s now available in 13 countries.

Coke has long used music to promote its brand, backing “American Idol” since the competition show started, and will make music a priority in 2013 and beyond “with a commitment to giving fans around the world universal access to music,” the company said. Naturally, move is seen as a way to compete with close rival Pepsi, which promotes itself as a music-loving brand.

Coca-Cola is ponying up more marketing coin to promote its core soda brand, which saw global sales increase 4% over the past quarter, while bottled water was up 15% and demand for energy drinks rose 25%.

Atlanta-based Coke owns more than 500 brands, including Sprite, Fanta, Powerade, Dasani and Minute Maid.

“At Coca-Cola we have long recognized the power of music to connect people around the world,” said Joe Belliotti, director of global entertainment marketing for the company. “As we step up our activation through Coca-Cola Music, we are excited by the innovative music technology platform created by Spotify and the opportunity to create a truly global music network.”

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