If you’re looking for free music, better gear up for next month’s Superbowl. That’s when Pepsi is expected to announce a giveaway of a billion free downloads, all DRM-free, in partnership with the Amazon music store. According to Billboard, five billion Pepsi bottle caps will contain codes, a billion of which will give access to free downloads. Three years ago the company undertook a similar promotion with iTunes. The big difference between now and then is that all the iTunes downloads were copy-protected. Billboard stated that Amazon was willing to pay labels 40 cents for each track downloaded, which has proved problematic for some majors, which is 25-30 cents less than they normally pay and 30 cents less than Apple. It’s interesting, though, that the labels don’t seem to have baulked at the tracks being DRM-free; many have moved toward that position, and even iTunes now sells some DRM-free tracks.
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