A panel on music and branding at the 8th Annual Billboard Music & Money Symposium exposed some of the challenges major labels and brands face when they try to work together.

Frank Cooper, Pepsi's VP of portfolio brands, told the audience he prefers to work with indies because they aren't bound by the legal limits of the major label system and are more open to giving things away for free.

Camille Hackney, senior VP of brand partnerships and commercial licensing at Atlantic Records, countered that majors are interested in working with brands, but want to make sure they get something out of the deal in the end and she proposed a system of giving away tracks for a limited number of time as opposed to indefinitely.

Cornerstone president Jon Cohen added that most major labels don't have the resources to help a band with their first ten thousand sales.

Cooper also laid out Pepsi's strategy of turning down "plug and play" sponsorships and looking to work with bands that are not completely unknown but not famous.

The one-day Billboard Music & Money Symposium is happening today (March 5) at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. For AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke's keynote Q&A session at the event, click here.

For more on upcoming Billboard events, visit billboardevents.com.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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