The New York Post reported Wednesday that Apple and fast food giant McDonald’s Corp. will team up to give away up to 1 billion songs through the iTunes Music Store in an as-yet unannounced marketing campaign.
“Both Pepsi and McDonald’s are paying Apple’s retail price of 99 cents per song, sources say,” wrote the Post’s Tim Arango. “And McDonald’s has arranged to buy up to a billion songs to meet customer demand.”
Arango notes that McDonald’s is unlikely to actually outlay a billion dollars to Apple for the privilege, since not all of its customers are likely to take advantage of the deal. But he estimates the company’s actual spending will be “in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
If it comes to fruition, Apple’s deal with McDonald’s — which has yet to be substantiated by either party — would be Apple’s second major cross-marketing win for the iTunes Music Store, and by far a bigger potential windfall for the company.
Apple has already announced plans to work with soft drink maker Pepsi-Cola North America to give away 100 million songs beginning next year, kicking off with an advertisement that’s expected to run during the Super Bowl.
Arango indicated that it’s unclear how McDonald’s will distribute the free downloads.
“A spokesperson for Apple declined comment, and a representative of McDonald’s was unavailable for comment,” he wrote.
Dow Jones Business News, syndicated by Yahoo, reported several hours after the New York Post’s report that McDonald’s characterized the earlier report as “pure speculation” and indicated that there were no deals to announce.
McDonald’s statement was added in an update to this article.