of a partnership with Apple’s iTunes yesterday has received a show of support from one unlikely source: Wippit, the UK’s second largest music download site.

An email sent out by the firm said it welcomed the Coke and iTunes promotion, arguing that it will drive more people to its service.

The bigger the better as far as we’re concerned,” it said. “It will boost the market, encourage more legal downloading, introduce new music and as Wippit is compatible with iPods it allows us to tuck in tight in their slipstream and watch our non-compatible competitors (that’s everyone else) fall back a little further. In short, Wippit is set to gain from the ground lost by our other competitors.”

Beginning in August, the deal will see song codes included in promotional packs of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke, which can then be redeemed for a track from iTunes’ catalogue of over three million songs.

The agreement follows Coke’s decision to shut its MyCokeMusic download sites in Europe, and has been seen as an end to the firms’s ambition to develop its own presence in the online music space. was the first to the market, but we’ve decided that everybody is great at something,” Chris Burggraeve, Coca-Cola’s director of marketing for the European Union told Reuters. “Apple is undeniably the leader in this field.”

Still, Wippit said the move could “create ten of thousands of subscribers” for its service.

“Our subscribers get unlimited downloads from a selection of 60,000 tracks for the price of about 35 two litre bottles of Coke. That’s like a 1,700 song giveaway per bottle and a much lower risk of tooth decay.* (*not clinically proven).”

The email also ended with what looks like a sly dig at Apple over its troubled partnership with Coke’s main rival in the US last year.

We welcome the Apple / Coke promotion. We’re going to benefit from it, and it won’t cost us a penny. Unless of course we start giving away a free bottle of Pepsi with every movie download. 😉