updated 06:25 pm EDT, Fri October 19, 2007
Akamai Starbucks Deal
Starbucks and Akamai today announced a new business partnership that comes on the heels of reports that Apple will provide special Starbucks-centric media for patrons of the international coffee chain. Akamai says it will provide the infrastructure for this venture, which is designed to speed up the "Now Playing" feature available to iPhone and iPod Touch users. The deal will make purchasing Starbucks-featured tracks more seamless, according to the companies, by greatly decreasing network latency.
"We are excited about our technology relationship with Starbucks," said Paul Sagan, president and CEO of Akamai. "This represents the culmination of extensive planning, and we are honored to join Apple and Starbucks in this major transformation of how people discover new music. Enabling servers within a customer's retail environment with Akamai's technology demonstrates the pervasiveness and agility of our edge architecture."
Interestingly, wireless connectivity for the new service will be supplied by T-Mobile, rather than Apple's current U.S. business partner, AT&T. Akamai has assured users that there will be no additional charges or connection fees for the service -- which will launch in 900 stores in New York, Seattle, and San Francisco with Akamai-enabled servers by November 8th, 2007.
In September, Apple and Starbucks formed a business relationship that allows iPhone- and iPod touch-carrying Starbucks customers to purchase music that is currently playing in its shops as they sit and enjoy their coffee breaks, something Apple has coined "Now Playing". Starbucks is reputed for having high-quality music from both well-known and eclectic artists alike.