Starbucks and Spotify to create new musical super group

Discussion
May 19, 2015

I remember the first time I walked into a Starbucks. It was 1996 in Bellingham, WA and when I entered my ears immediately picked up Lee Michaels singing, "It’s been forty days since I don’t know when, I just saw her with my best friend…" I liked the coffee — although it was a lot stronger than what I was used to getting at shops back east — but I liked the music even more, you know what I mean?

Today, music continues to play an important role in the Starbucks’ experience. It may become even more prominent with the announcement the coffee chain is partnering with Spotify to link the 10 million members of its loyalty program with the streaming music service. The plan, according to a Starbucks press release, is for the two companies to create a "music ecosystem."

Starbucks’ associates and customers will be largely responsible for what plays in the chain’s stores. The company’s 150,000 U.S. employees will each receive a free Spotify Premium membership (nice work perk) and will be able to use tools on the streaming music service’s app to influence the music that plays in stores. My Starbucks Rewards members will also be able to access the playlists through the chain’s app or the Spotify service.

Starbucks partners with Spotify

Photo: Starbucks

Spotify users will also have an opportunity to earn "Stars as Currency" as part of the Starbucks program. There will be a dedicated section on Spotify that features both new playlists from Starbucks as well as the most popular music at the chain over the past 20 years.

"Given the evolution of the music industry and the proliferation of streaming technology, it was natural that we would partner with Spotify in offering our customers a new way to engage with their favorite music," said Kevin Johnson, president and coo of Starbucks, in a statement. "Starbucks’ ability to innovate with partners such as Spotify, creating new ways and platforms to engage with our customers, will afford us unprecedented interconnectivity across all of our capabilities, and provide new access points for Spotify as they continue to grow globally."

What music do you associate with Starbucks? How important do you think music is to the Starbucks experience and its branding? What is your reaction to the deal with Spotify?

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Braintrust
"Music I associate with Starbucks? All good! Everything from an independent to a superstar with Paul McCartney. More than anything, I love how they have promoted music. Another channel. Love how Starbucks is connecting with Spotify. Coffee may be the product, but music is part of the culture and ambiance."

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3 Comments on "Starbucks and Spotify to create new musical super group"


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Lee Kent
Guest
7 years 3 days ago

Oops! I don’t think Starbucks hit it out of the park on this one. I foresee chaos. Why? We all know that music can be offensive as easily as it can be pleasing. There is an art in putting together good “elevator music.” Music that covers the genres, but selects pieces that run somewhere in the middle.

Lets’ just say that if my local Starbucks starts playing nothing but hard core country music—Buh-bye Starbucks.

I’ll be taking my 2 cents to another tea shop.

Shep Hyken
Guest
7 years 3 days ago

Music I associate with Starbucks? All good! Everything from an independent to a superstar with Paul McCartney. More than anything, I love how they have promoted music. Another channel. Love how Starbucks is connecting with Spotify. Coffee may be the product, but music is part of the culture and ambiance.

Gordon Arnold
Guest
7 years 3 days ago

You know for sure someone is in real trouble when they ask another team to score for them. This mad dash for a win may sound like being open to suggestion from outside influences, but we may be seeing a touch of frustration here. A score is a score from where ever it comes this is for sure. Managing growth and addressing market opportunities is the responsibility of the coach if winning is necessary and/or expected.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Music I associate with Starbucks? All good! Everything from an independent to a superstar with Paul McCartney. More than anything, I love how they have promoted music. Another channel. Love how Starbucks is connecting with Spotify. Coffee may be the product, but music is part of the culture and ambiance."

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