updated 09:15 am EDT, Mon September 24, 2007
Starbucks gives 50m songs
Starbucks on Monday announced that it will giveaway more than 50 million free songs to help promote the new "Now Playing" iTunes service that will roll-out in 600 New York and Seattle locations around the US (announced earlier this month). Starbucks said it would introduce the digital music experience across all of its U.S. company-operated and licensed stores by offering its customers the "Song of the Day," a free digital music promotion that will offer 1.5 million songs each day across its 10,000 Starbucks locations. The promo will run from October 2 to November 7 -- during which customers may receive "Song of the Day" iTunes cards for a complimentary song hand-selected by Starbucks Entertainment. The company also announced plans to sell iTunes Digital Release Cards as well as Starbucks Card Plus Two, a limited edition re-loadable Starbucks card that will offer two extra songs when it is registered online.
"This is a landmark moment for Starbucks," said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment. "With the launch of the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks we can now provide the same classic coffeehouse experience and compelling music offerings our customers have come to expect from us through a new platform ideal for the digital music consumer. This is the first step in combining the power of brick and mortar retail and digital music."
Starbucks will also introduce a new "Now Playing" feature, which allows customers using the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks to instantly preview, buy, and download the music currently playing overhead. This is the only technology of its kind that allows customers to download the music they discover in the environment around them. The feature is currently available on the iPod touch and is expected to come to the iPhone as well.
"Song of the Day" will offer hand-picked songs from top artists including Bob Dylan, Joss Stone, Dave Matthews, Bebel Gilberto, John Mayer, KT Tunstall, John Legend, Annie Lennox, Joni Mitchell, Keith Urban and Paul McCartney plus great music from up-and-coming artists such as Sia, Band of Horses, Hilary McRae, Frederico Aubele and Sara Bareilles.
Each morning and while supplies last, Starbucks customers nationwide can discover that day's complimentary download as part of their daily coffee routine, the company said. Upon receiving their complimentary download card at Starbucks, customers will have until the end of the calendar year to redeem the song on the U.S. iTunes Store.
Starting October 2, Starbucks company-operated locations in the U.S. will offer iTunes Digital Release Cards for sale, including KT Tunstall's "Drastic Fantastic" with bonus music videos, digital booklet and a behind-the-scenes documentary video, and music from the film "Into the Wild," featuring all new songs from Eddie Vedder with bonus tracks and digital booklet. Each iTunes Digital Release Card contains a full album's worth of music and features collectible artwork. After the card is activated upon purchase at Starbucks, customers can download the album and bonus material on the iTunes Store for Mac or PC.
Starbucks will also offer the Starbucks Card Plus Two, a limited edition re-loadable Starbucks card with added bonus value. When a Starbucks Card Plus Two is registered online the cardholder will receive two complimentary song downloads of their choice on the U.S. iTunes Store.
The iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks will continue its national rollout to 350 Starbucks stores in the San Francisco Bay area in early November; 500 stores in Los Angeles in early February 2008; 300 stores in Chicago in March 2008; and additional markets throughout the U.S. later in 2008. The iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks will run on the T-Mobile HotSpot Wi-Fi network, which is available at participating Starbucks locations across the U.S.
"Song of the Day" kicks off Starbucks exclusive partnership with Apple, which lets customers use the T-Mobile HotSpot Wi-Fi Network at participating Starbucks to wirelessly download music onto their iPhone, iPod touch or laptop from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store with no Wi-Fi connection fees or HotSpot login required.