November 27, 2020

Coke Looks Beyond Spotify for Music Promotion in India

But when it comes to India, Spotify is not the only music service on Coke’s mind. Earlier this year, Coca-Cola India worked with Dhingana, a streaming service that specializes in Bollywood and other Indian music, to promote songs from its “Crazy for Happiness” advertising campaign. Spotify is in 28 markets, but not yet in India.

In a promotion that would be unusual for American services, Dhigana not only highlighted the songs from Coke’s “Khushiyaan Lutao Crazy Kehlao” album on its Web site, but also pushed them to mobile users through notifications, alerting them to the songs whether the users wanted to hear them or not. Maybe it was part of the pay-it-forward message of the ads, which celebrate kindness to strangers through unexpected high-fives — and, of course, the sharing of a Coke with a security guard or Santa Claus.

These promotions reached about 1.4 million people in three days during an unspecified period in the first quarter of the year, Dhingana announced late Tuesday — 760,000 of them on Apple devices and 620,000 on Android, a ratio that may point to many Dhingana users beyond India, where Android use far exceeds that of iPhones. Dhingana, which has offices in India and Sunnyvale, Calif., says it has “millions of users in more than 220 countries,” although it offers no specifics.

Crazy kindness may have a low level of virality, however: despite the 1.4 million digital nudges, only 38,374 people actually listened to the songs, Dhingana and Coke India reported.

A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola in the United States did not have a comment about the campaign on Tuesday, and a spokesman for Spotify did not immediately respond.

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Online Music Tools and Services Help You Find New Tunes

Now that most music lives on the Web, there are more sounds than ever at your fingertips. But that newfound abundance comes at a cost: It takes a lot more work than flipping through a CD bin to find something you might like.

Luckily, there is help. A host of new tools and services can help you find your new favorite band.

SPOTIFY This popular new streaming music service has one of the most extensive song libraries online. But sifting through its 15 million tracks to find what you want to hear is exhausting. Recently, though, Spotify entered a partnership with Facebook that lets Spotify users who connect to Facebook list each song they’re listening to on their News Feed, serving up a real-time flow of songs to explore. The rival streaming services Rdio, Pandora and Mog also offer this feature.

In addition, Spotify lets you see what playlists your friends have created and subscribe to them. That’s how I discovered that the band XX was the perfect soundtrack for Sunday mornings, and that Beyoncé is a surprisingly good running companion. Pro tip: You can also send albums and songs to your Facebook friends who are using Spotify by right-clicking on the track you want to recommend and typing in their name.

THE HYPE MACHINE Music blogs like Gorilla vs. Bear, Fader, Nah Right and Stereogum post dozens of new songs, mixtapes and albums every day, making them reliable sources for fresh sounds. But those sites number in the hundreds, making it hard to stay on top of them all. The Hype Machine is a Web site and iPhone app that aggregates any song posted to a number of music blogs and streams them in a single place.

The Hype Machine is ideal for listeners who like radio remixes, covers and mash-ups and other B-side materials that rarely see the light of day. Imagine your favorite underground radio station playing only the newest jams, on an endless loop. You can also explore by genre, or use “latest” and “popular” tabs to sort through the songs. There’s also a “spy” tab to see what other Hype Machine users are listening to in real time.

TUMBLR In addition to funny memes and Lady Gaga, this popular microblogging site is also a great reservoir of music feeds that post new music streams, clever covers and quirky remixes. The blogs tend to be carefully curated and not nearly as high volume as a music site as Fader, making it easy to keep from getting overwhelmed by the influx of new tunes in your Tumblr feed. A few Tumblr favorites: CopyCats and Disco Naïveté.

SOUNDCLOUD The trouble with services like Spotify, Rdio and their ilk is that they primarily focus on music by artists who have been signed to labels. But there are still a lot of performers making music on the fly and uploading it. That’s where SoundCloud comes in. You can find rare mixtapes, like one that combines the indie crooner James Blake with the rapper Drake, and up-and-comers who haven’t yet been picked up by a big label, like ASAP Rocky, the Weeknd and Dominique Young Unique. You can follow artists you like, find friends and keep an eye on which songs they like as well.

EXFM Now that you’ve got all these new places to check for new music, how best to keep track of them? Exfm is a free browser extension that keeps track of every song you listen to and save as you bounce around the Web, and assembles them into a handy mixtape for later listening. The service also lets you browse through the top songs saved by all the users on its service, making for a neat crowd-sourced top 40 playlist.

TURNTABLE This social music service lets people take turns playing D.J. for a roomful of friends and other listeners. At Turntable, rooms are sorted by theme, from the self-explanatory (“Indie While You Work”) to the quirky (“Food Fight”), and they are all a good way to hear new music as well as old favorites. You can buy the tunes you like through Amazon or iTunes and save them to sites including Last.FM, Rdio and Spotify.

VHX.TV Remember when TV channels like MTV, VH1 and BET used to show music videos? VHX.TV aims to recreate those long-gone days with a service that makes the browser into a large screen for viewing videos. People using VHX can share their finds, and see what friends are watching. The videos tend to be more eclectic and visually interesting than your typical fare — think ‘60s-inspired noir Hollywood and colorful anime videos — and it’s never boring.

CULL.TV This service is similar to VHX.TV, and is trying to create an immersive viewing experience for music videos. But Cull.TV also offers several music video channels for viewers to flip through, like One-Time, which shows new experimental hip-hop, and New Chilean Rock, which features metal from South America. People are also free to create their own channels and share them with friends.

SOUNDTRACKING Ever wonder what your neighbors are listening to? This service, which is currently available only as an iPhone app, lets you see which songs are trending in a particular city or neighborhood — like the latest pop indie band to hit it big in Brooklyn or what’s bubbling up in Rio de Janeiro.

SONGZA This iPhone application lets people create and share playlists organized around a specific task or activity. You can browse songs handpicked specifically for falling asleep, reading in a coffee shop or throwing a barbecue. Additionally, Songza users can browse by moods, like Rowdy and Spacey, or by decades, to find the perfect songs to suit their disposition.

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Media Decoder: Amazon to Try Again on Lady Gaga Album Special

Amazon stumbled on Monday when it offered Lady Gaga’s new album in the MP3 format at 99 cents, a surprise one-day promotion that proved so popular it stalled the company’s servers. But on Thursday it is trying the promotion again, and promises that it will be prepared.

Amazon will offer Lady Gaga’s new album in the MP3 format at 99 cents on Thursday.Amazon will offer Lady Gaga’s new album in the MP3 format at 99 cents on Thursday.

“Clearly customers are really excited for Lady Gaga’s new album — we saw extraordinary response to Monday’s promotion — far above what we expected. She definitely melted some servers,” Craig Pape, Amazon’s director of music, said in a statement. “So we’re doing it again, and this time we’re ready.”

The promotion is expected to push opening-week sales of Lady Gaga’s album, “Born This Way” (Interscope), above its early estimates of about 750,000 copies, to 850,000 or possibly more than a million. In the last five years, only two albums have sold more than a million copies in a week: Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” in 2008, and Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” last year.

Amazon’s Lady Gaga deal has been widely interpreted in the music industry as a way for the company to compete with Apple’s iTunes store, the dominant music retailer on the Web, and to promote its new Cloud Drive service, which allows customers to store their music on Amazon’s servers and stream it over the Internet. But the company received a barrage of customer complaints on Monday when its servers failed.

Amazon introduced its Cloud Drive service in March, and earlier this month Google announced its own cloud music service.

Apple is in negotiations with the major record labels and music publishers for its service, which music executives say could be introduced as early as next month.

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