Amazon, Pepsi Ponder Billion-Download Giveaway

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Amazon may be joining forces with Pepsi in a massive, MP3-based download giveaway, according to preliminary information surfacing Thursday.

Billboard pointed to a deal that involves a total of one billion downloads, and a splashy unveiling at Super Bowl XLII in February, 2008.  The move would help to catapult the Amazon MP3 offering, which first launched in late September.

If the deal closes, majors will face significant pressure to shed digital protection policies.  Sony BMG and Warner Music Group – as well as the experimenting Universal Music Group – would have to commit to MP3-based distribution to participate in the giveaways.  EMI Music is already there, though another sticking point may surround per-track payouts to labels, and revenue specifics surrounding featured artists.  Previously, Pepsi triggered two separate download giveaway campaigns with Apple and the iTunes Store.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.