Could 2008 be the year that the digital download catches on as an incentive for brands?

According to an article in this month’s issue in PROMO Magazine, over "a third of brand and agency executives say their companies now offer customers free digital downloads as a promotional incentive."

Some stats:

  • Half of the respondents were unsure of how music or ringtones could be leveraged to promote their products
  • Nearly 60% felt they weren’t leveraging digital media effectively
  • Metrics remain a barrier to greater adoption, since nearly half are looking for alternate means to track loyalty and incentive program success.
  • Slightly over a third say they don’t have a budget to implement downloads

Cool thing is, digital music is a perfect way for brands to get involved with music.  It helps them avoid embarrassing situations, such as the one Verizon found itself in over Akon earlier this year.

More importantly, it allows them to leverage more traditional promotion tactics, particularly at-retail activation, where there’s greater comfort.  From the consumer perspective, it provides what feels like free music (see my podcast interview with music futurist Gerd Leonhard as to why this is really the way to go).  Brands want to know how to be more engaged with their consumers.  Music downloads can go a long way towards answering that question.

Some of the brands that have leveraged music downloads include Starbucks, Wendy’s, Hershey’s and Starwood Hotels.

Check out the full PROMO article here.

Posted by Rob Fields