Feeds

Starbucks readies music download service

Apple-served?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

When Apple CEO Steve Jobs launched the company's iTunes Music Store, he compared each song's 99c price tag with the cost of a latte. The coffee analogy has proved oddly prescient, since Apple may soon be serving up song downloads to Starbucks customers.

Next Tuesday, the coffee shop chain will announce its intention to launch an in-store music download service, BusinessWeek reports today. Starbucks calls the service "a completely new retail experience" and "represents a breakthrough for music consumers, providing them with enhanced music customization, greater convenience and new ways to discover emerging artists".

Its partner is HP, which will be providing a stack of tablet PCs punters can use to select songs, play them and even burn them to CD. It's also providing server infrastructure and printers for label art, apparently.

Presumably all this will happen over the store's wireless network, courtesy of Starbucks' deal with T-Mobile.

The Apple connection is provided by HP, which will this summer launch branded iPods and an online music store that is basically ITMS with an HP-branded front end. None of the companies concerned have commented on the relationship, but it's certainly tempting to view the new service as a tri-partite program.

The first Starbucks site to offer the download service will apparently be located in Santa Monica. The service will be rolled out across 2500 further sites over the next two years, the company said. Prices will match those at ITMS, though there's a minimum purchase of five songs. Five songs cost $6.99, while albums will cost $12.95.

Starbucks is essentially pitching itself against high street record retailers. Why buy CDs in Virgin or Tower when you can create your own compilations while you're enjoying your coffee? it asks. Certainly Starbucks' weekly customer count of around 30 million individuals provides a far greater walk-through than any record store gets.

The potential downside is that the stores are being branded as HearMusic, the small record shop chain Starbucks acquired five years ago. The chain currently has five HearMusic music shops running, including the one offering the download service. ®

Related Stories

George Michael offers free songs on Internet
Virgin to open music download service
Wippit preps 'EasyJet-style' music download scheme
Napster schedules UK launch

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.