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RVB's Market Musings

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Starbucks and online Music

I just read an article that makes no sense to me. It can be found on The Business Online. article link

The headline reads "Starbucks to offer music downloads"

There are some great quotes in the article. Let's start with:
Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz believes his chain gives Starbucks a huge advantage over Apple as a digital music retailer. Starbucks serves 40m customers a day and plans to open 1,800 more coffeehouses this fiscal year. By contrast, Apple only has a handful of flagship computer stores in key markets.
But, Howard, I need a computer to download music! I can't download songs by plugging my mouse into my $7 latte and connecting it to the internet! Do you honestly believe that people have to travel to these stores to get their music? This quote is ridiculous.

Ok, so next we think about the fact that people do bring computers to Starbucks, and that traffic of 40 million customers is surely impressive. Maybe there's potential? Next quote:
Schultz intends to ramp up the existing wireless internet in Starbucks coffeehouses to provide music downloads.
So let me get this straight. I buy my $7 latte, then I pay the Starbucks hourly internet connection rate, just so that I can download Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby got Back"? Maybe, because I paid my connection fee, I'll also pick up some Right Said Fred, too. After all, "I'm too sexy..." Seriously, this hardly seems worth it to me.

But then, just when I'm picking up awful songs of the 90's (that we all know the words to) the store clerk will pick up on my song fetish and tell me that I would also love to hear some Wreckx-n-Effect (nevermind that I actually owned that cd and disposed of it like a frisbee in High School study hall).

Back to serious me - this idea that others help me find music that I might be interested isn't a novel one. BMG music's website does this automatically for me. Before the internet, they did it via traditional snail mail. I'm not an iTunes member, but I'll bet that it, too, can help me find music I might like. RealMedia's Rhapsody does.

I applaud the attempt at innovating a new revenue stream. But I wonder - Howard, have you thought this through?


At May 23, 2006 1:13 PM, Blogger NO DooDahs said...

Let me know when they start selling music on cassette tapes. I'll park my '86 Cadillac in the SBUX lot for that!

At May 23, 2006 1:17 PM, Blogger rvb1977 said...

Sweet. I'll bring my rusty '87 Chevy Celebrity and we can rock out to Def Leppard and GnR...

At May 23, 2006 8:35 PM, Blogger Dropped said...

This does seem like a terrible idea, and I'm a huge SBUX supporter. Also, I'll be at BofA for the summer, pretty excited about that.

At May 24, 2006 4:36 AM, Blogger NO DooDahs said...

Is that Celeb a Eurosport model with the v6? How bad is the rust? I might be interested ... Don't forget to bring your Prince, the Time, Tina Marie, Lisa Lisa with Cult Jam and Full Force, Curtis Blow, Whodini, and Run DMC. Hope you have a good set of subwoofers!

Did you hear that AAPL is teaming up with HD to produce an iPod compatible toilet? You can listen to music, and it'll have a little voice that gives you encouragement and tells you how much fiber you've had ...

Seriously, the hype around where you listen to music has gone too far ...

At May 24, 2006 7:00 AM, Blogger rvb1977 said...

Had the V6, but not Eurosport. Bench seat. Best car I ever owned.

The purpose of my post was to simply say that this thing by Starbucks is a dumb idea. But, I had a little fun with it, too. :-)


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