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Starbucks To Enter The World of Music Downloading Services Print E-mail
Monday, 15 March 2004
Starbucks Corp. announced last Friday that they would be offering customers a chance to create and buy CDs with songs chosen from a digital music library while they sip their grande lattes inside the café. The new project spawned out of Starbuck’s new partnership with Hewlett-Packard Co. The new service will debut on Tuesday in a Santa Monica, California Starbucks and will expand into 2,500 Starbucks cafes over the next 2 years. The service, which will be called “Hear Music Café”, will offer an estimated 250,000 songs to choose from. The song selection will undoubtedly come from the libraries of Hear Music, a music company that has been in a close partnership with Starbucks since 1999. According to their website, Hear Music is “dedicated to helping people discover all the great music beyond the Top 40”. Sorry kids, but there won’t be any Brittany Spears/ Justin Timberlake compilations coming out of the doors of Starbucks anytime soon.

Services like Apple iTunes (who claim they have sold over 50 million songs to date) and AOL’s MusicNet have been growing in popularity however, their services are limited to people that own personal computers. Hear Music Café has the potential to become a huge success based largely in part that it will be available to anyone and everyone that walks in the doors of a Starbucks. The choices of music in the new service will also appeal to a different audience who are looking for songs from artists like Yo la Tengo, Nina Simone and Nat King Cole that may not be available on the other services that concentrate on music selections that have received wide amounts of popular acclaim.

It is unlikely that this new service will take away from the success of Apple’s iTunes, AOL’s MusicNet or the newly reincarnated Napster, but it will add another outlet for even more people to enjoy legal downloads and personalized music compilations that include songs from older, lesser known artists.

Source: Reuters

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