Amazon / Pepsi DRM-free music giveaway gets official

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Pepsi and online retailer Amazon.com yesterday confirmed plans for their $1 billion giveaway, which includes redeemable points on four billion Pepsi products that consumers can spend not only on DRM-free music downloads, but on Amazon Unbox TV downloads, electronics, apparel, DVDs and CDs as well.

The promotion, dubbed “Pepsi Stuff,” will be unveiled during a Super Bowl commercial and is designed to introduce Amazon’s new digital music service to the public. This is reminiscent of Apple’s 2004 Super Bowl promo in which the soft drink company offered 100 million free songs downloads from iTunes.

The fact that Pepsi and the record labels have crossed over from iTunes to Amazon MP3 is an indicator of the continuing tension between the music industry and Apple. Though iTunes blazed a trail in encouraging consumers to pay for music online, record executives complain that Steve Jobs holds too much power when it comes to setting prices and other terms. Thus, recording companies now see Amazon as a way to level the playing field.

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