McDOnald's Succeeds at First Attempt to Sell Music with Food

By Rifkin, Glenn | THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 28, 1994 | Go to article overview

McDOnald's Succeeds at First Attempt to Sell Music with Food


Rifkin, Glenn, THE JOURNAL RECORD


McDonald's first-ever music promotion ends this week, having already sold more than 7 million compact disks and cassettes at discount prices to customers who buy certain items from the menu.

The promotion, co-sponsored by EMI Records Group North America, and backed by a $20 million national advertising campaign from McDonald's, has sold more than 7 million copies of a collection of songs by Garth Brooks, the country star, and more than a million copies of collections from both Tina Turner and Elton John. A collection from the rock group Roxette has sold more than 500,000 copies.

Each album is a new collection of hits not available in retail music outlets. Selected restaurants in certain ethnic neighborhoods are also offering Hispanic, hip hop and jazz collections.

For four years, McDonald's has offered promotions for movies on videotape. And tie-ins to film hits like "Batman," "Jurassic Park" and "The Flintstones" have consistently drawn customers into the fast-food outlets.

This inflamed many local stores that sell videocassettes of films. But record retailers said they were not concerned by the latest McDonald's promotion.

"The titles they are selling are exclusive compilations of that artist's music," said Dan Booth, a manager at a Tower Records store in Boston. "It's not as if they are pulling things off the market that we'd otherwise be selling. In a way, it's good advertising for the artists."

Lisa Goren, manager of the HMV music store in Cambridge, Mass., said: "I can't imagine them taking over for record retailers. No matter how many new outlets the record companies try, they can't offer the kind of music we can.

She added: "The price points are interesting, though. I'd like to see the labels lower their prices more, and there isn't much excuse not to after they've sold them like that," through McDonald's.

Inside each CD and cassette is a coupon for discounts on previously released titles from the four artists. The coupons can be redeemed at Sam Goody and Musicland outlets. …

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