Apple and Starbucks announce music partnership; wirelessly find and buy music at Starbucks

Apple and Starbucks today announced an exclusive partnership that lets customers wirelessly browse, search for, preview, buy and download music from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks onto their iPod touch, iPhone or Mac or PC running iTunes while at a participating location. When a customer enters a participating location, their device will automatically recognize the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store using a high-speed Wi-Fi wireless network with no connection fee or hotspot login. Customers will be able to browse, search and freely preview millions of songs, including a new “Now Playing” service which displays the name of the song playing in the Starbucks store at that moment, then easily buy and download songs or albums directly to their device. Prices and selection on the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store are the same as on the regular iTunes Store. The service will make its debut at more than 600 Starbucks company-operated locations in New York and Seattle on October 2.

“Getting free access to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store and the ‘Now Playing’ service at Starbucks is a great way for customers to discover new music,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “Imagine walking into a participating Starbucks, hearing a great song, and being able to instantly download it onto your iPod or iPhone. We think this is very cool.”

“With this partnership, we’re bringing Apple’s leadership in digital music together with not only our retail footprint, but the unique Starbucks experience, to offer customers a world-class digital music experience,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, Starbucks Coffee Company, in the press release. “Introducing this new service is a natural extension of our music strategy which only enhances the retail coffee experience for customers by helping them discover and acquire new music instantly.”

After its debut in New York and Seattle on October 2, the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store will continue its national rollout to 350 Starbucks stores in the San Francisco Bay area on November 7; 500 stores in Los Angeles in early February 2008; 300 stores in Chicago in March 2008; and additional markets throughout the US later in 2008.

The iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks will run on the T-Mobile HotSpot Wi-Fi network which is available at participating Starbucks locations across the US.

With Apple’s legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as Cover Flow, integrated podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, seamless integration with iPod and iPhone, and the ability to turn previously purchased songs into completed albums at reduced prices, the iTunes Store is the best way for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music and video online.


  1. What’s interesting is what this release doesn’t say.

    I distinctly remember Starbucks announcing plans for a music store about eighteen months ago, IIRC, in partnership with HP and – and this may be wrong – Loudeye.

    What this basically says is “our music retailing venture was a failure and we’ve decided to stick to making mediocre mass-market coffee-based drinks and become a partner of the 800lb gorilla of the industry. We hereby promise not to get involved in becoming a technology outlet and Apple have promised not to develop an iPod that makes coffee.”

  2. “…with free wi-fi. Yeah, it’s terrible what the world is coming to.”

    Is that what you heard? Really? I heard wirelessly find and buy iTunes downloads via Starbucks. There’s a world of difference.

    Wake up. Smartass.

  3. People dont realise this at the moment but this IS HUGE.

    Imagine walking past a tv shop and you see a film on the tv in the shop and you want to buy the film and all you do is press a button on your ipod or iphone and u can download it.


    You go to the cinema see a trailer for a new film and just press a button and you can preorder the film even before its on the cinema.

    Or use see a concert poster and you decide you want to goto the concert and all you do is press the button and you have ordered your tickets.

    This is the biggest advancement in mobile content usage in 20 years and will totally rewrite the mobile market and how people use content.

    And Apple has created it – what a company.

  4. But won’t be available in your area for another year. Great idea, terrible launch schedule. If these iPods are for the holidays, shouldn’t the roll out be just a tad quicker? Maybe I’m missing something, but all Starbucks locations have WiFi… what is the hold up? Dallas, Texas is one of the largest markets in the country and we might get the service sometime next summer? (according to the published roll out schedule) Missed opportunity in the short term.

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