Coca-Cola to Expand Spotify Integration

After more than a year of licensing difficulties and delays, London-based music streaming service Spotify finally launched in the U.S. earlier this month in partnership with major brands including Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, and Motorola.

Having worked closely with Spotify for months prior to the much-anticipated Stateside launch, The Coca-Cola Company’s presence on the service is set to escalate over the next few months for both its flagship cola and Sprite brands, the beverage giant’s integrated communications director for North America, Linda Cronin, told ClickZ.

spotifyspriteFollowing the initial rollout of the U.S. service, Coca-Cola leveraged its position as Spotify’s exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partner to distribute early access invite codes through its websites, and through social channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Cronin described that element of the sponsorship program as key for Coca-Cola, allowing it to offer “value and social currency” to its consumers.

Coca-Cola also hopes Spotify’s mobile apps and social media connectivity will let it “engage teens and young adultsspotifycoke through one of their top passions,” according to Cronin.

In the coming months, Coca-Cola and Sprite will evolve on Spotify, progressing through multiple phases. Beyond the display and audio ads now running, the brands will offer access to exclusive, and perhaps more engaging, content. Current display ads for Sprite simply aim to build Facebook followers, for example. That media could instead be used to promote custom curated playlists, or perhaps content from artists affiliated with Coca-Cola’s brands.

Speaking with ClickZ following its U.K launch in 2009, Spotify’s U.K. sales director, Jon Mitchell, said it offered the ability to target ads to specific users based on their listening habits and other demographic information. The depth of data remains relatively meager for U.S. users at present, but Cronin said brands have been promised “more opportunities to target relevant messages based on listening habits” as the service’s user base continues to grow.

Coca-Cola wouldn’t say how it’s paying Spotify, but Mitchell told ClickZ that early brand advertisers in the U.K. paid on a run-of-site basis, achieving click-through rates of between 0.7 to 1 percent for audio ads, and upwards of 0.3 percent for display.

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