Starbucks on Monday announced a promotion to raise awareness of Apple’s iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, which goes live in more than 600 Starbucks locations on Oct. 2nd, 2007. The new music download service will debut in more than 600 locations in New York and Seattle, according to Starbucks, which is offering a 50 million song giveaway.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at a special event earlier this month. Intended as a new service for iPhone and iPod touch users, the service lets you download songs from the iTunes Store the same way you do from a PC or Mac laptop via iTunes. Songs you download to your iPhone or iPod touch are then synced to iTunes the next time you connect your device to the computer.
In conjunction with the launch of the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, Starbucks plans to offer customers the “Song of the Day” at more than 10,000 locations — cards they can redeem for a free song on the iTunes Store using either a Mac or A PC, selected by Starbucks Entertainment. The company says the promotion will give away 1.5 million downloads on iTunes per day from Oct. 2 to Nov. 7, for a total of more than 50 million free songs.
A special feature of the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store will let users purchase the song or songs they hear playing in their Starbucks coffee shop locations. A fifth button appears on the iPhone and iPod touch’s display that helps you identify the song currently playing, and a playlist containing the last ten songs. A “Buy Now” button lets you get those songs instantly.
During Apple’s unveiling of the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, Starbucks founder and chairman Howard Schultz explained that support for the new service will require a significant infrastructure upgrade to Starbucks — not all of the company’s 5800 Wi-Fi enabled stores will be online with the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at the same time.
Seattle and New York are the first two regions to get the service, and if Starbucks’ and Apple’s current plans hold true, San Francisco will follow in November, with Los Angeles in February, then Chicago in March. By the end of 2008 most metropolitan area Starbucks locations will have access to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, with true ubiquity to follow in 2009.