Friday, April 30, 2004

Eh... close counts...

Well, the results are in from the Pepsi-iTunes promo, and they're not much to get particularly excited about. According to this CNET article, Pepsi's yellow bottle caps only brought in five million songs ("Pepsi's iTunes Promotion Goes Flat" Get it? Flat? Soda? Get it? Ha.).

Meanwhile, Think Secret is reporting that Apple's internal goal for the promo was 25 million songs, further adding to the "bust" factor in the redemtion rate.

But why the lackluster success, especially when the iTMS is the most successful online music store out there? Well, part of it could be the fact that the promo bottles took a while arriving in some places across the country. Also, it could be because it's Pepsi. Sure, there's the wonderful irony (I'll explain in a second), but Coke is still number one. (I won most of my free songs from 7-11 cups because I don't drink Pepsi.)

So, the irony (for those who don't know some of the more bizarre details in Apple's history): Back in early '80s, Steve Jobs courted the then-CEO of Pepsi, John Sculley, to come to Apple. Reportedly, Steve used this since-famous line to convince John: "Do you want to sell sugar water to kids all your life, or do you want to have a chance to make a difference?" Eventually Sculley agreed and became Apple's CEO. After a few years Jobs became dissatisfied with him and attempted to stage a boardroom coup, but Sculley found out and stripped him of most of his power. Not wanting to settle for a ceremonial position in the company, Jobs left and founded "NeXT." Years later, Apple bought NeXT and Steve moved back up to the top (NeXT's programming language, NeXT Step, is a relative of OS X's Cocoa).

Anyway, I guess you really can't change the world by selling sugar water.

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