Starbucks Music Program More Music Store, Less Coffee

from the interesting... dept

Last week we wrote about Starbucks’ plan to launch a CD burning system in their stores. Today, they made the official announcement, and it’s a bit different than people were predicting last week. So far, at least, it looks like they’re more focused on building a music store – with Starbucks coffee, rather than just putting kiosks into a Starbucks shop. That is, they’ve opened a “Hear Music” store in Santa Monica that includes 70 tablet PCs where shoppers can listen, download and burn songs to CDs. That certainly goes well beyond the idea of one or two kiosks in a store (though, it looks like they will try to do some cross branding at some point). With so many stations, the issue of broken machines is slightly less of a problem (though, there is still the worry of people spilling coffee on the machines). Still, it does seem like this is an idea that will be obsolete before too long (if it isn’t already). They’re actually charging more for songs than the standard online music download stores – and at those sites, people get to download and burn in the comfort of their own home. So, what’s the advantage of going to this special music store to do the same thing? Right now, it seems like it’s the coffee – and maybe that’s the point.

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Comments on “Starbucks Music Program More Music Store, Less Coffee”

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Thom K. says:

Not too suprising really...

Look at the success that they’ve had placing Starbucks inside Barnes & Noble stores. Likewise here in NYC, there’s a Starbuck’s inside Sony’s music store on 5th Avenue. Given that they’ve been tying themselves closer and closer to “media” sales in the retail channel, this would probably seem to them like a logical way to increase their same-store revenues and per-square-foot revenues.

Now, as to whether or not it’s a good idea, well… I’ll reserve judgement on that one.

Jeremiah (user link) says:

No Subject Given

I literally created a business plan a year or so ago with this exact idea in mind. My angle was to pitch it to independent book stores as a means for getting people into their stores. The general idea was that unsigned artists (and majors, should they care to come along) would be able to make their music available in a giant digital warehouse, and customers could preview/purchase/burn music at the kiosk.

There were two major issues (among a dozen others): One challenge was addressing the social nature of music, and how to encourage/discourage certain behavior through design. Second was the physical infrastructure required was prohibitively expensive and prone to connectivity issues.

Myself and a designer made some concept drawings of a small island with stools surrounding it and headphones. A credit-card processor and a drawer (to deliver the burned/printed CD).

From the perspective of a music producer, it’s encouraging to see commercial penetration (heh, I said “penetration”) into non-traditional venues for the trades of music: it means more ways for me to make money and pay my rent.

As a Starbucks customer, I usually stop on my way to somewhere else, and I’ve never really thought of Starbucks as a hangout.

James Caruso says:

music via Starbucks

hello, I’m a songwriter / producer with many years experience working with high profile recording artists. I recently put together a project which people tell me is perfect for the Starbucks market. The works include spoken word put to music, radio interviews put to music, just all around thought provocing, easy to listen to, “lounge” type music, perfect for the Starbucks market.
I have several pieces ready to submit for consideration.
Please feel free to contact me at anytime if interested.
Thank You,

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