Pepsi to launch Twitter push with video, free song

AP News

5/30/2012 12:08:13 AM - AP News

PepsiCo Inc. is lifting the curtain on its music partnership with Twitter, saying it plans to offer free downloadable songs on its Twitter page starting Wednesday and streaming video of live concerts this summer.

The No. 2 soda company says the first "pop-up" concert will be in late June. Followers will be able to influence aspects of the concert, such as the set list, by tweeting the names of songs they want played. Pepsi is staying mum on which artists it has lined up for the concerts. But the Purchase, N.Y., company has recently partnered with pop stars Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry in its marketing campaigns.

Every Wednesday for the next year, Pepsi will also post a quick video summary of music news for that week based on an analysis of trending topics on Twitter.

The videos will give visitors "the pulse on what's happening in music," said Shiv Singh, who heads global digital for PepsiCo Beverages.

The free downloadable song from Amazon.com's MP3 store will be selected based on that video update. Pepsi followers need to include a Pepsi hashtag in a tweet to get the song. Financial terms of the deal with Twitter were not disclosed.

The partnership is part of Pepsi' broader "Live for Now" campaign, which is using music to revive the brand's image and help win back market share from the Coca-Cola Co.

Reaching out to younger consumers has become particularly important for both companies at a time when consumers have so many more beverage options.

Energy drinks, sports drinks and bottled teas, for example, are enjoying growth in the U.S. while soda consumption has been on the decline. In many cases, consumers are increasingly looking for some type of promised benefit from their drink, whether it's antioxidants or a shot of caffeine.

Sodas, by contrast, are often considered empty calories and blamed for rising obesity rates.