Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Would You Like a Digital Tune with Your Latte?

Starbucks has always had an involvement in the music industry, selling CDs at the cash or even, in some locations I've seen (in the U.S.), equipped with digital music download stations where you can make your own custom CDs. Now, the java-fix supplier is teaming up with iTunes to offer a free Pick of the Week digital download to customers.

Visit any of 700 company-operated Starbucks locations in Ontario or Western Canada on a Tuesday, and the barista will hand you a complimentary download card with your purchase, good for 60 days to snag a music track on iTunes. You can't get any track you want, though. Each week, a particular song will be chosen by the Starbucks Entertainment Team and iTunes, and will include both Canadian and international artists. The promotion begins today, and the first Pick of the Week tune is Constant Knot by City and Colour.

Considering that Starbucks is a daily destination for many, this promotion could prove quite fruitful. Think about it: you'll get four free songs every month, and up to 48 a year! This is, of course, assuming that the store isn't "out of stock" by the time you arrive for your morning hot grande mocha java dark half-decaf no whipped latte. It's also great for artists, since customers will, assuming they download the tune, be exposed to new music they might never have otherwise been introduced to. And iTunes benefits since you'll have to download the iTunes software if you don't already have it; and might end up purchasing other tunes while you're there.

On the flip side, though, one could argue that the cost of that free song is already included in the high price you pay for the coffee. Either way, at least now you're getting something for that extra $0.50 you're forking over per drink. I'd be curious to know how many of the free tunes end up actually being downloaded versus forgotten in the back pocket of business men and trendy teens.

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