Friday, May 26, 2006

Coffee, tea, or tunes?

I've always thought the best thing to go with a $6.75 Banana Caramel Frappuccino Light Blended Coffee and a fresh $5 blueberry scone would be the ability to spend even more money on music downloads from the same vendor. Well, my sarcastic prayers have been answered by none other than the java-giant Starbucks.

I know it has become common practice to create business alliances in today's society. It's the allure of the one-stop shopping experience that drives many businesses to offer just a bit more to remain competitive. For instance, the video rental/tanning salon idea that has caught on in my respective region. Now, when i'm in the mood to rent the latest Angelina Jolie flick, I can also get a couple shades darker without having to move more than 15 feet from the new releases. What a concept!

Anyway, Starbucks is taking its game to another level by adding more wireless capabilities to its stores. This would allow for further expansion of a potential digital music service. Could they be attempting to squeeze-in on itunes' or napster's share of the downloading market?

Starbucks Entertainment President Ken Lombard:

"Customers want to bring their devices into our stores. We don’t have a solution today, but we are committed to finding one".

Don't get me wrong. I like the idea of furthering access to my favorite artists, but I also like my coffee shops to remain kind of unpolished. A place where a group of friends can hang out, drink coffee, and listen to aspiring folk-singers.

I guess we can't stop the inevitable flow of technological tie-ins, but wouldn't it be nice to get away from it for the half-hour it takes to enjoy a cup of coffee?

Read the rest of the story here.

No comments: