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Coca-cola: drink, dance and download

Drinks company to launch UK music download service

Coca-Cola is aiming to enter the growing music download market by launching its own service in the UK in January 04.

Run by European digital music company On Demand Distribution Ltd (OD2), the music service will offer 250,000 tracks from more than 8,500 artists. Tracks will cost 99p each, Coca-Cola said.

OD2, a London company set up and part-owned by singer Peter Gabriel, offers a "white label" service running online music sites for UK and European music businesses, including those offered by Microsoft's MSN.com as well as Tiscali and Virgin, marketing manager Paul Smith said.

All major record labels will be involved with the site. "Given the unprecedented level of support that Coca-Cola is putting into it, the potential customer reach is in the millions," Smith added.

Coca-Cola and OD2 will split the proceeds from the site on a revenue share model, Smith said, but he would not reveal what percentage each will receive.

Music service users will need to be over 18-years-old because they need a credit card to buy tracks.

Last week, Coca-Cola announced that it had signed a two-year deal to sponsor the UK Music Charts from January as well as a planned Download Chart.

According to a report by Jupiter Research, a division of Jupiter media, earlier this year, the online music market could be worth $3.3 billion by 2008.

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