In what founder Daniel Ek is calling a partnership to rival Spotify’s integration with Facebook, the music subscription service will be linking up with Coca-Cola to create a Spotify and Facebook app, as well as integrating the service into all of Coke’s music-related campaigns and content.
Following Ek’s keynote speech at Ad Age’s Digital Conference in New York, the Spotify crew — along with Coke — took the stage at a small press conference to chat about the partnership. In November, Spotify announced that it would be launching apps within its platform (Rolling Stone and Pitchfork were among the first apps out of the gate), and today it announced at the Ad Age event that even more brands would be gracing the service with applications: Coke, as well as AT&T, McDonalds, Intel and Reebok.
The press affair, however, was definitely Coke-centric. There was even a projection of the wall reading: “Coca-Cola Hearts Spotify.”
Well, Coke better “heart” the music subscription service, as they’re entering into a pretty intense relationship. After discussing the brand’s long history with music — Ray Charles’ Coke commercial, etc — the company revealed that Spotify will be the exclusive music tech partner for Coca-Cola Music.
So what does that mean? Ek and Co. spoke about the partnership in rather obtuse terms during the conference and accompanying Q&A session, but the gist is this: 1). Spotify will be deeply integrated into Coke’s Facebook Fan Page, 2). A new Coke Spotify app (created during a Coke-sponsored hack session in NYC) will be launching soon to kick off Coke’s marketing efforts around the 2012 Olympics, 3). Coke plans to bring Spotify to even more users around the world via this partnership, as Spotify will be part of Coke’s global music campaigns and programs. Billboard also reports that Coke will be toting Spotify via on-pack promotions on products, offering up free trials of Spotify, etc.
This partnership is not about Coke funneling money into Spotify (it’s not an ad deal, Ek says), rather boosting the company by integrating it into its operations. As Ek said during the press conference, “If you think about our vision, it’s about the ubiquity of music, and I can’t think of a brand or company that has the same amount of ubiquity as Coke.” Whenever Coke is talking about music — be it on TV, online or at live events — now, it will also be talking about Spotify.
Although Spotify isn’t doing too hot financially (which isn’t that much of a surprise considering it’s still a pretty new service), Ek has said that dollars aren’t really Spotify’s focus right now. “Our focus is entirely on growth,” he recently told a Swedish publication.
The company, which launched in the U.S. around this time last year, currently has around 10 million active users and 3 million paid subscribers (that’s 3 million active users and 600,000 paid in the U.S.) and reports adding millions of users following its integration with Facebook. Now, with big brands like McDonalds and Coke in the fold, it seems that Spotify’s visibility will only continue to increase.
One question that remains to be seen following this partnership is: How will artists react to Spotify working so closely with a major brand like Coke? Several bands have already cut ties from the company — believing the ROI to be insufficient — and the big corporate tie-in is sure to make some musicians uncomfortable.
What do you think of this partnership? Will the Spotify logo soon be as ubiquitous and iconic as the Coke can? Weigh in below.