by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 25th 2008 1:03pm
We've chronicled Starbucks' successes and failures as it tiptoed into the music industry over the past few years. The ubiquitous coffee shop was trying to position itself as a "lifestyle" brand. After successes in selling the albums it regularly played in stores, the company went so far as to set up its own record label. While we noted that this was an interesting play, it seemed like it would really only work if the the company didn't try to become a normal record label. Unfortunately, it seems like that's exactly what it did. It focused on selling albums, rather than the wider musical experience, and pretty much relied on the Starbucks connection to boost sales. That just wasn't going to cut it -- so it should come as little surprise that the suddenly struggling company is handing over the record label to someone else to deal with. Starbucks will continue to look for music to sell in its stores -- it just won't be producing albums anymore. This makes plenty of sense since Starbucks never really seemed to have much of a plan to do anything really innovative in the music business, and right now it probably has a lot more important things to concentrate on.
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