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McDonald's Billion-Song iTunes Giveaway 600

camperslo writes "The New York Post online has this story. "Less than a month after Pepsi announced a blockbuster deal to give away 100 million downloads from Apple's iTunes music service to its customers, McDonald's is close to a announcing a much bigger deal"." No matter what you think of iTunes, this is tremendous publicity for music on demand services in general. If the public gets a taste for it, this could be the beginning of the end for the audio CD.
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McDonald's Billion-Song iTunes Giveaway

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  • In other News... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TrekkieGod ( 627867 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:50PM (#7409244) Homepage Journal
    Internet shopping is becoming really widespread. If the public gets a taste for it, this could be the end of malls.
    • No, everybody I know still likes to try on clothes.
    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @03:05PM (#7409495) Journal
      I went shopping recently. I was seconded to another company for a while, and my trip back from work took me past Majestic Wine Warehouse. I walked into the shop, and noticed that they had a bar with a few bottles open, and a sign saying `Tasting Counter. Customers, please help yourselves'. I did, and then browsed for a while. There were a couple of helpful assistants who provided me with advice on what to buy. It was actually an enjoyable experience. As far as I can see, this is the only way in which meat-space shops can compete with their cyber-space counterparts; by providing a value added service. Most shops are absolute hell to visit (it's impossible to find things, staff are useless, and you have to queue for ages to get out), and so any alternative is welcome.
  • McDonalds (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:51PM (#7409254)
    Do you want iFries with that?
  • by sweeney37 ( 325921 ) * <<mikesweeney> <at> <>> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:51PM (#7409258) Homepage Journal
    this could be the beginning of the end for the audio CD.

    ...but what if you like the audio CD? what if you prefer lossless music, with coverart, booklet and printed media you can hold in your hand?

    • by webslacker ( 15723 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:55PM (#7409328)
      It's kind of hard to complain about this when it's a free for the customer.

      It's a lot easier distributing 1 billion songs online than 70 million cd's.
    • This is why there'll always be a hard-copy version of music and much the same reason why E-Books never took off. People like the tactile quality of owning something.
    • For that matter, wouldn't you be buying vinyl records? There's certainly a feeling of getting your money's worth as you walk away with a square foot of color photography and a gigantic disc of music.

      Anyway I don't think online music can kill the CD, even in the terminal case. There's a huge back catalog of music on CD that may never make it to online, and online purchasing is still bogus for classical, baroque, early music, other orchestral music, and "real" music in general. The classification and fili
      • >There's certainly a feeling of getting your money's worth as you walk away with a square foot of color photography and a gigantic disc of music.

        Thats one of the big things I miss. Big huge picture book stuff. That stuff leaves an impression in your mind makes you feel like you got your money's worth.

        Now you are lucky if you get lyrics in a small booklet.
    • What if you like LP's? What if you prefer the inaudible sounds which are captured and felt, with Large Coverart with no magnifying glass needed, BOOK, and all the lyrics to every song on the album so you can hold it in your hand and sing along?

      My friend, these times, they are a changing and soon you'll be able to buy your "cd's" for even more!

      Oh yeah, and LP=>Compact Disc=>Mp3=>[insert nexgen here]
      . :P

      Yo Grark
      Canadian Bred with American Buttering
    • by dbirchall ( 191839 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @03:20PM (#7409705) Journal
      I seem to recall some jaded audiophiles griping about how limited digital sound was... ;)
    • But what if you want to purchase music in your underwear and have it in your possession instantly?

  • I'll take a #2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dugsmyname ( 451987 ) <thegenericgeek@D ... om minus painter> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:51PM (#7409259) Homepage
    -I'd like a #2 with a Diet Coke... Supersize and 2 iTunes tracks please.

    -That'll be $4.59 for the meal, and $2.00 for the music, please drive-thru.

  • gasp! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Theaetetus ( 590071 ) <> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:51PM (#7409266) Homepage Journal
    Both Pepsi and McDonald's are paying Apple's retail price of 99 cents per song, sources say. And McDonald's has arranged to buy up to a billion songs to meet customer demand.

    A spokesperson for Apple declined comment...

    ... because they were busy hyperventilating into a paper bag. A muffled "woohoo" could be heard.


    • Re:gasp! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Schnapple ( 262314 )
      Well let's see:

      1,000,000,000 songs at $.99 each is $990,000,000

      Of course, from what we've learned, with major record labels, the label keeps $.80 of the price, so this deal, if every single song is redeemed and done so on a RIAA song (I don't know that all RIAA labels keep the $.80 but it might be a safe assumption), then the RIAA labels make $800,000,000 off of this deal.

      And Apple makes $190,000,000. Not chump change, but nowhere near a billion dollars. Plus Apple has to pay for bandwidth and hardware t
  • by jea6 ( 117959 )
    Kazaa, LimeWire, et al. have long had the billion song download giveaway.
  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <splisken06 AT email DOT com> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:52PM (#7409273)
    I'm not saying this isn't going through. I'd be very happy if it did. I'm just saying that having the NY Post as the sole source of your business news piece isn't confidence inspiring.
  • But... (Score:2, Interesting)

    Is retrieving your songs going to require signing up for the service? Which includes credit card information. Also what if then the redemption goes wrong (you entere a code wrong/etc..) and you have millions of people getting billed for songs they thought were going to be free? Giveaways like this serve to increase a user-base out of which many will never return.
    • I bet it'll be a one time give us your email, enter your code, and select your free track and thats it kind of thing. With a form at the end probably saying, "If you liked this track then you'll also like this one. You can get it for .99. All you need to do is..."
    • That was all part of the version 2.0 ITMS that was released with the Windows version. I'm assuming that these give-aways would be of the gift certificate form.
  • "this could be the beginning of the end for the audio CD." ...about anyone else but I don't want the audio CD to go away. I'm quite happy with the CD and if I want to put music on my computer I'll rip it myself. My computer is not in the same room where I would notmally play CDs when entertaining anyway.
    • My computer is not in the same room where I would notmally play CDs when entertaining anyway.

      That's why you need a networked stereo receiver [].

      (or an iPod and a free input on your existing receiver).
    • me too, but I got one of those "Matrix" 900mhz broadcasters from ThinkGeek (super on sale!) so my computer plays to the AUX in on my stereo.

      And If I need more control than that (or if thats not audiophile enough for you), I can hook up my laptop with 802.11b card to the AUX input.

      Who needs a CD changer system? I have 140 gigs of harddrive! (true, 40 of that is taken up by XP... ;)
  • "It is unclear how McDonalds will use the free downloads in a promotional campaign"

    um, a code & Url on your receipt, that to use allows ronald & co to get your name and address?

    • by ChicagoBiker ( 702744 ) <> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @03:11PM (#7409579) Homepage
      "It is unclear how McDonalds will use the free downloads in a promotional campaign"

      Whatever journalist wrote this should be sent home without lunch!

      What the hell do you mean unclear?

      Here, let's take a stab; Pepsi Co. announces 1 million song giveaway via redeemable codes on their three main product bottle caps. 1 in 3 caps will have a code valued at $0.99. Hundreds of thousands of iTunes Music Store users are now poised and ready to only drink and purchase Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist for the duration of the promotion because there really is no reason to purchase any other product since none of them are possibly giving you back $3 worth of music per 6 pack!

      McDonalds announces promotion where the purchase of any combo meal will include a peel off sticker on the french fry container with 1 code redeemable for a free song valued at $0.99 at the ITMS. Promotion to continue until 1 billion free songs are given away. Millions of iTunes Music Store customers now opt for lunch at McDonalds since it's the only fast food offering where a $4 happy meal includes a $1 song reward. There's no reason to eat at Burger King.

      You can watch for these bottle caps and happy meal stickers to be auctioned off enmase on eBay about 3 hours after the first promotion starts.

      Collecting iTunes Music Store free song promotion codes will become the new baseball card of the 2004 summer.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Available immediately, just login to Kazaa.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:53PM (#7409286)
    The iMac will now be re-released in a larger size to be known as the Big iMac.
  • Yay! (Score:5, Funny)

    by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [0791uhcsm]> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:53PM (#7409291)
    McDonalds has been giving away a lot of stuff lately. Right now on fries they're giving out $1 coupons (stackable!) for Best Buy. My love for electronics is going to make me fat.
  • by Im A Wack Job ( 720602 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:53PM (#7409294)
    I guess that's as close as Mc Donalds will get to selling an Apple.
  • by Murdock037 ( 469526 ) <{moc.liamtoh} {ta} {nrohtnartsirt}> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:53PM (#7409296)
    How's that?

    I like my CDs. I like being able to take something home from the store, and having something in my hand in case my computer crashes.

    It's nice that iTunes is getting publicity-- it's a great service, it really is. But I don't want the CD format to die, and I don't think most consumers do, either.

    The advantage of iTunes is choice beyond the traditional ways of buying music. What makes the online music phenomenon nice is the flexibility, not simply the elimination of physical media.
  • Since Coke is sold at McDonalds instead of Pepsi I wonder if Apple was hoping to get both Coke and Pepsi but couldn't so they went with the next best thing, McDonalds. This is good since I hate Pepsi but eat at McDonalds at least once a week.
  • Yikes! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FrostedWheat ( 172733 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:55PM (#7409327)
    this could be the beginning of the end for the audio CD

    I really hope not! At least with CD's I can still rip to whatever audio format I prefer, in whatever quality level I wan't. Can't do what with AAC files. (Well you could, but transcoding music can degrade the quality quite a bit)

    It's also nice having something real, instead of a file that you may or may not own. Or worse, can disappear or become unplayable for who knows what reason they'd cook up.
    • It's also nice having something real, instead of a file that you may or may not own.

      You do of course realize that CD audio is just a bunch of digital files encoded onto a plastic disc, right? :)

      Altho if you're talking the DRM angle I agree 100% with you. If I could get iTMS, I'd be burning every song I downloaded to CD (for backup), and most likely re-ripping that to mp3 for portability between systems. And praying my burnt CDs don't die in a year. Thank god for cheap multi-hundred gigabyte hard drives!
      • Altho if you're talking the DRM angle I agree

        Mostly, but I also like having the CD with it's own case, coverart and sometimes the lyrics. Sure I could download all of that and print it out, but it wouldn't be the same.

        I say that now, but as printers improve who knows!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It featured the Hamburglar stealing songs from the internet.
  • Anyone happen to know? I haven't seen a clear description of the Pepsi promotion, and I assume the McDonald's one will be similar.

    1. You get whatever song they give you. I don't quite see this doing much for the service.. yay, my 15th copy of the latest Britnet single.

    2. You get "a song" off iTMS. Any song you like. Just redeem and download. That'd be way cooler, but hell, I can buy a bottle of Pepsi for less than 99 cents US, so I'd be getting as much music as I could drink Pepsi for free. And raiding re
    • -> You get to choose the song.

      (reference: )

      -> For Pepsi, it's one in 3 bottles that will have the code. They're selling 300 million bottles as part of the promotion, 100 million of them will have the codes in.

      -> Cans aren't part of the promotion. Just 20-ounce and one liter.

      -> McDonald's hasn't said anything about how they would be giving them away.
    • Ah, but IIRC, only one bottle in three pepsis will have a free track under the cap. And that's limited to 300 million bottles (100M tracks), which will probably all be gone in the next 6 months...
  • Maybe they want people to download the music while in the restaurant using the wi-fi networks [] they were piloting? Might as well supersize that meal so you have something to do while downloading the songs.
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) * on Thursday November 06, 2003 @02:56PM (#7409360) Journal
    was that they're giving away McDonald's jingles as the songs.

    You can pick new-skool hits like "I'm lovin' it" and "We love to see you smile," or go back to the old days with "At McDonald's, we do it all for you," "Keep your eyes on your fries," and "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun."

    Perhaps Coca-Cola will get in on the deal? "Ain't nothing but the real thing," "Coke is it!," "I'd like to teach the world to sing" and of course "Always Coca-Cola" are big hits in the beverage world.

  • The plans by two of the largest consumer goods companies to spend a significant amount of promotional money on music sharing is a validation of Apple's revolutionary iTunes service - and a ringing endorsement for the beleaguered music industry.

    It seems like not too long ago, every time you'd see mention of apple in the press, they were called "beleaguered". It became kind of a running joke on Mac sites. Well, now we're once again seeing "Apple" and "beleaguered" in the same sentence, but in a good way. I

  • Both Pepsi and McDonald's are paying Apple's retail price of 99 cents per song, sources say.

  • Is it just me or does that pic of Ronald just scare the hell outta U :) Heeeeeere's Ronald! Fahrenheit 451, he's got cameras for eyes
  • Sizes of the offers don't really matter, whats important is news of the service reaching the masses. If enough people who *arn't using* P2P can download enough goodies to form a nice Xmas gift (like label images), we could see a new market shift. I sure would like to give away a few discs for the holiday season (actually I'd love to give iTunes credit), but just handing someone a CD-R with my sloppy sharpie writing on it isn't that great.

    However, without something like that, the only change in market is
  • I will still continue to collect classical music CDs. There's a lot to be read and seen on the covers, and I enjoy the act of chosing the CD I want to listen to and then flipping it in the CD player.

    I am sure I belong to a minority, but that doesn't mean this minority is a market that the music industry would want to ignore. Heck, just bein a lover of classical music puts me in a VERY small minority, and yet, I still can chose among hundreds of thousands of titles. I don't see hard drive storage of MP3 fil
  • Excellent! I hope this translates into the kind of momentum that makes iTunes so large that music companies would rather spend their time selling their wares through iTunes rather than influence its license structure.

    If you hadn't heard, Sony and BMG are merging their music businesses. I am sure it's a move to consolidate resources in an effort to address a rapidly-changing business dynamic. I wasn't looking forward to seeing such large music distributors trying to impose their will on iTunes.
  • You know, after eating at McDonalds, I think I would want to go listen to the song Constipation Blues [], by Screamin' Jay Hawkins... Too bad it's not yet offered on the iTunes Music Store. :^)

    Does anyone else find it strange that Apple and McDonalds sell Big Macs (albeit in different form factors), and have announced a deal together?
  • by ( 604171 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @03:07PM (#7409523)
    This from macrumors:

    MacMinute [] notes a statement from McDonald's [] regarding today's rumor [] about the McDonald's and iTunes giveaway.

    According to McDonalds, "There are no agreements to announce, so anything else is pure speculation."

    McDonald's goes on to say that they are continuing to pursue "bold new initiatives in the areas of music, sports, fashion and entertainment" and that news can be expected in the coming weeks to months.

  • is selling these songs costs so little, the can give away a billion downloads, but they still charge $1 a song. Could you imagine them giving away 10 million albums on CD?

    I was hoping American consumers wouldn't stand for that ridiculous price point. Maybe once the novelty wears off, sales'll slow down and prices will follow. Seeing as how everyone's using $1 as a price point I'm not gonna hold my breath for competition to lower prices.
  • by adeyadey ( 678765 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @03:08PM (#7409534) Journal
    to get hold of when they win their lawsuit against Apple for stealing their name..
  • by Therlin ( 126989 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @03:11PM (#7409586)
    According to this article [], McDonald's is denying the rumor by saying "There are no agreements to announce, so anything else is pure speculation."
  • I guess McD's was so heart broken about all those poor users deleting their music files []

    They just had to step in and lend a hand. Perhaps this is a new direction for the Ronald McDonald House Charity, giving back to all the poor soles who one way or another lost their music :o(.

  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @03:26PM (#7409782) Homepage Journal
    I'd wait for confirmation before getting all excited about this. Isn't the NY Post the paper that printed an editorial congratulating the Red Sox on beating the Yankees in the ALCS? Perhaps it's really Burger King that's giving out Hillary Rosen action figures instead...
  • by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @03:29PM (#7409817) Journal
    this could be the beginning of the end for the audio CD

    According to Dutch news, DVD sales have exceeded CD-Audio sales this year.

    One popular Dutch artist is actually going to stop putting his music on CD, going DVD-only. (only returning to CD if DVD sales, against expectancy, aren't high enough)

    There's several reasons for this
    - DVDs cost about as much as DVD-audios here
    - You get a LOT more value for money (various performances, videos, interviews, etc.)
    - They think it's a little bump in the way of piracy.

    The latter, as far as the music goes, is of course pointless to the educated masses.

    But given the choice between

    A. an 'expensive' DVD-R, spending quite a bit of time downloading the content, and optionally printing things out


    B. the original without all the fuss, for not all *that* much money

    I think B is going to be a choice for many.

    The end of CD audio, at least here, started when people realized they were getting little value for money when compared to alternatives such as DVDs.
  • by bytesmythe ( 58644 ) < minus bsd> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @04:12PM (#7410335)
    At an average of 3 minutes per song, it would take you just over 5700 years to even listen to all of them, much less download them! ;)
  • by telstar ( 236404 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @04:30PM (#7410572)
    "I Like Big Butts"
  • by onthefenceman ( 640213 ) <szoepf&hotmail,com> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @05:15PM (#7411177)
    I can see the slogans now: Billions and billions served...with subpoenas.
  • by Silas ( 35023 ) * on Thursday November 06, 2003 @06:04PM (#7411736) Homepage
    I wonder if it's less overhead for Apple to do it this way. When I buy a song with my credit card from the store directly, some small percentage of the $0.99 must be going towards credit card fees, etc. When they do it through retail vendors like McDonalds and Pepsi, they probably get a fat (overhead-free) check from those folks, who in turn absorb the overhead of collecting that cash.

    Sure, there are other costs invovlved in managing that kind of program, but if Apple sets it up well, they could actually be increasing their profit by making the retail vendors pay for some of those costs.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson