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CARBONATING THE COMPILATION
WMG And Pepsi Say “Drink Up” On Joint Music Offer
March 17, 2000

We have seen the future of rock & roll, and its name is… Would you believe cola-sponsored compilation albums?

The Warner Music Group and Pepsi are banking on it.

WMG Chairman/CEO Roger Ames has masterminded a deal wherein Pepsi drinkers will be able to assemble customized five- and ten-track compilation CDs out of 200 available tracks from Warner Bros., Atlantic and Elektra labels. The promotion, “Choose Your Music,” features name acts, with a smattering of developing artists thrown in, for obvious reasons. Tracks can be sampled on Pepsi’s Web site.

In today’s impatient, mouse-clicking, MP3 world, the single-artist album is looking like an endangered species. These days, hit compilation albums can be huge moneymakers, as UMG and EMI’s 4.2 million-selling “Now That’s What I Call Music” and WMG-BMG’s 1.3 million-strong “Totally Hits” have demonstrated. Indeed, Santana’s “Supernatural” never would have become such a huge hit had it not been conceived by Clive Davis as a virtual compilation of contempo hit artists collaborating with the guy whose name is on the cover. Rob Thomas anyone?

Pepsi will adorn 1.5 billion cans and bottles with the offer as well as spending $15 million on TV spots, so the exposure will be massive.

It’ll take proof of purchase for 30 bucks worth of Pepsi to get the consumer five tracks, so expect to hear a whole lotta burping within the 12-24 demographic this summer. This is one bubble the record companies hope doesn't burst.

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