Tuesday, July 19, 2005

it's a media empire, not a coffee shop

"Last year, the company also opened a sprawling combination coffeehouse and music store, called Hear Music Coffeehouse, in Santa Monica, Calif. Customers can shop for prepackaged CDs or burn their own on 'media bars' using Starbucks's 200,000-plus song library. The company plans to open similar stores in Miami and San Antonio, later this year.

Starbucks plans eventually to install media bars in most of its traditional coffee shops as well. Already, at 45 coffee shops in Seattle and Austin, Texas, customers can pay to burn CDs. The company also says it has heard from movie studios and television networks about someday setting up online video downloads.

In music, the company has been careful to cultivate what its executives call 'the Starbucks Sound' -- an aesthetic that's recognizable, if difficult for even those executives to articulate. Music sold at Starbucks tends to appeal to the chain's mostly adult customers, and generally reflects a sensibility similar to that of National Public Radio stations like Los Angeles' influential KCRW: moderately eclectic, often jazzy, and never noisy enough to disrupt a quiet cup of coffee."

well howard, good luck to your media business, and may you give the itunes store a run for its money. but isn't your biggest customer growth market in the teen and young adult segment, who will be put off by norah jones and a "my parents' npr" slant?

just asking. . .meanwhile, for those of us who actually are focused on the coffee, it seems like the mermaid has less and less to offer!

posted by fortune | 11:50 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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