September 11, 2007
Music kiosks - Starbucks goes wireless with iTunes iPod
Sip Starbucks, access iTunes
By Melissa Allison
If you like what you hear over Starbucks' sound system, get ready to download it.
Beginning Oct. 2, the Seattle-based coffee shop chain will launch a program that allows customers to access Apple's iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store with no connection fee or hot-spot login.
A feature called "Now Playing" will show customers what's playing over the sound system and let them buy it from iTunes for the usual price — 99 cents per song.
Music can be downloaded to wireless iPods, iPhones, Macs and PCs with iTunes installed, but not to non-Apple portable digital music players.
The Starbucks-Apple service was announced the same day that Apple unveiled a new version of its popular iPod media player with wireless Internet access: the iPod Touch. The Starbucks icon will light up on the iPod Touch whenever a user nears a Starbucks coffee shop that has wireless access.
Financial terms of the partnership between Starbucks and Apple were not disclosed.
The wireless music program arrives more than a year after Starbucks ended a long-running test of music-downloading kiosks at dozens of stores in Seattle and Austin, Texas. The kiosks can be used to burn songs onto personalized CDs for about $9 each.
Customers told Starbucks they preferred wireless access, said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment.Posted by staff at September 11, 2007 01:36 PM