And Now I Love Starbucks Even More

by · June 21, 2010

Mmmm... Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte!

One of the things I miss most about living in the U.S. is a good Starbucks. I was mildly addicted to my skinny cinnamon dolce latte and on Saturday mornings I would also treat myself to a non-fat cinnamon coffeecake. Pure heaven! Sadly, no Starbucks in Doha have these delightful items, but I still remain a big fan. And now there is even more reason for me to love my favorite coffee chain – free Wi-Fi and free digital content!

Starbucks announced last week that it will be offering free and unrestricted internet at all its locations, which is a big improvement over their limited Wi-Fi offering that seemed to vary greatly by location. And while this is great, the really cool and creative part is that they also plan to offer access to premium paid sites, such as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times (their pay-wall is coming) free of charge while connected to their network. This “Starbucks Digital Network,” also has other partners in the venture, such as Apple’s iTunes.

Think about the potential for this. You come into Starbucks and order your amazing skinny cinnamon dolce latte (Doha Starbucks – learn how to make this please!), sit down with your iPad and have access to the Wall Street Journal for free. Then, you hear an awesome song being played. Well, clearly Starbucks will have a live feed of the music they are playing, so you can know the song and buy it right away through iTunes. Or better yet, you’ll get a free song or two. And this seems like just the start of what is possible.

I think it is really interesting how Starbucks is adding value to itself by partnering with digital content providers. It’s more than just the coffee now!

Post By Brian Wesolowski (137 Posts)

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Discussion4 Comments

  1. Jessica says:

    While I do enjoy the idea of free wifi (I have yet to get internet at home, so yay) I’m a bit troubled by the ‘creating their own content’ part. Call me a media- purist, but this smacks more of targeted marketing then something virtuous or ‘value added’. So they’re giving you access to the Wall Street Journal and other publications that should, by their nature, NOT be impinged on by corporate greed? Goody. But to get there you have to wade through their ads, have their music suggestions pop up etc etc.

    Also, consider the recent trouble google has been in, collecting data off unsecured wirless networks in their streetview cars. Image what sort of research Starbucks and their partners can conduct, phishing on their wireless networks! Google was able to see line-by-line emails, instant messenger content, as well as the sites you went to and what you clicked when you were there. Hmmm now WHY would a corporation want to know what blog you read, what your email to your buddy says, and what you browse on amazon???

    I call corporate shennanigans in the guise of community service.

  2. Stretch says:

    Great idea! Maybe if they actually stop all the smoking going on in the local Startbucks cafe’s it might be nice to hang around and utilize the free Wi-Fi. Until that happens in any of the cafe’s around here, I’m afraid my coffee’s are always ‘to go’!

    I would rather pay for my NYT on-line than have to sit amongst all the smokers under the non-smoking signs. (sigh)

    And continue to read your posts from the comfort of home, for the time-being…

  3. Brian Wesolowski says:

    I definitely agree about the smoking – it’s time for them to finally enforce those no smoking signs. It’s disgusting!

  4. Syed Quadri says:

    this is really great, thanks for sharing your knowledge

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