Here’s why Coke’s download service is music to Apple’s ears

“Color me paranoid, but when Apple first announced its upcoming iTunes cross-promotion with Pepsi, my first thought was that Apple was putting itself at risk by signing on with the soft drink industry’s number two player. I figured that it was just a matter of time before Napster, Dell, Microsoft, or some other player in the music download space would announce a similar deal with comfortably-number-one Coca-Cola. Sure, it would have just been yet another case of Apple dreaming up a new way of doing things only to have an unimaginative competitor steal it, but it would really have sucked for iTunes if it had worked out that way.

So when Coke announced yesterday that it would be launching its own music download service without help from anyone, I have a feeling that Steve Jobs was dancing in the streets. Even better, Coke is only launching the service in Great Britain. In other words, Coke just wants to have something out there to compete for attention when Pepsi starts giving away iTunes tracks during the Super Bowl. You knew that Coke would enter the picture at some point, but this is beautiful: they’ve taken themselves out of the picture completely…”

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