Analyzing iTunes giveaways

Signal vs. Noise posted about the results of Pepsi’s iTunes 100 million song giveaway, where only 5 million were redeemed to this point. I posted a long comment there that I feel like reposting here:


For me, I think this doesn’t illustrate how little people turn in coupons/rebates but how many folks are technically proficient enough to even redeem the prize.

Think about it, [to redeem your free iTunes code] you need:

- to have an interest in music so much that you’ll go through the process to get just one single

- to own a PC or Mac modern enough to run the latest iTunes reliably

- know how to install software on said computer

- know how to navigate your new software to redeem your coupon (you have to go to the music store, then click on the icon to redeem, not totally intuitive)

- learn how to use the new store interface to find the song you like

- go through the apple user signup and login process

- have a fast enough connection to download your new 2-5Mb single

- have the means to play the song on your computer

Now, think about grabbing a phonebook from any city in the US, say [in] Montana. Now imagine going to page 143, then picking a name. Call them up and ask them if they know how to do all these things. If they answer no, then go to the next name in the phonebook. I’d be surprised if you got yes 5% of the time.

When you consider just about everyone from every walk of life in the US can readily find a bottle of pepsi and buy it, I’m not at all surprised that only 5% were interested and technically aware and adept enough to go through the process.