Coke and Bacardi have both created separate initiatives to work with artists to bring music to consumers.
Coke’s initiative is called StageSide and will feature a new artist every 90 days. It currently features Island Def Jam’s Ne-Yo. The music video is free and is distributed using a wide range of formats including bit torrent. According to Cnet, Coca-Cola is paying Ne-Yo’s label, publishers and the artist himself for the right to exclusively film a 15-minute “day in the life” mini-documentary interspersed with two minutes of music.
Barcardi has launched a 24 hour internet radio station called Barcardi B Live that will feature uninterrupted music featuring the worlds top DJ’s that will attempt to “keep your spirits lifted”. This initiative has been welcomed by the music industry as Barcardi is spending $40 million on the station including the payment of standard internet radio licensing fees.
Perspective: I think these initiatives work well for truely global brands and provide an excellent channel that local markets can leverage. Associating the brands with trendy and popular artists and making the content freely available is a clever way to give consumers the opportunity to engage with and share the brand relationship with others.