Burger King cooks up music deal with AOL

Chart toppers with Whoppers

Burger King has followed its arch-rival, McDonalds, with a plan to serve up a free music download promotion.

In October, the US burger chain will partner with AOL Music to offer a free song download with every Whopper sold.

The move comes a month after McDonalds partnered with Sony's Connect online music service to offer a similar 'singles-for-sandwiches' deal.

So far neither company has said how many songs have been downloaded as a result of the promotion. However, Apple's early 2004 partnership with Pepsi to give away millions of downloads failed to yield anywhere near the anticipated total, the iPod maker later admitted, though it blamed the discrepancy on the distribution of the promo Pepsi bottles.

The Sony-McDonalds deal may also be hampered by the former's insistence on tying its service into its MiniDisc player line and their ATRAC music format. Sony's digital music products do not play MP3 files natively, a fact that contributed to Apple's success in the digital music player market. Sony's Connect service has also been dubbed an "embarrassment" by critics.

AOL's music service is powered by digital music distributor MusicNet, which is set to form that basis for Virgin's Virgin Digital service. The BK promo runs until 3 October in the US. ®

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