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(Image courtesy of Mashable)
If you happen to pop into a Starbucks today to grab some overpriced coffee and mooch some free Wi-Fi, you might notice something a little different -- the company has rolled out its own Starbucks Digital Network at more than 6,800 U.S. stores on Wednesday.
Mashable is reporting that the Starbucks Digital Network flickered to life Wednesday in more than 6,800 U.S. Starbucks locations, after being teased for several months. SDN is a comprehensive web portal created in partnership with Yahoo that’s intended to help bring more customers into the coffee giant -- and keep them there.
“The vision,” says Adam Brotman, Starbucks Vice President of Digital Ventures, “is for Starbucks Digital Network to be a digital version of the community cork board that’s in all of our stores.”
Among the goodies featured within SDN are exclusive free e-books, music and movies, which ultimately is the bait that Starbucks hopes to use to get customers purchasing more content while they’re enjoying their coffee. The company began offering free Wi-Fi at all of its stores back in July, racking up 30 million log-ins in September alone.
To accomplish the goals of their Starbucks Digital Network, the Seattle, Washington company has partnered with Yahoo to create a store-only portal. “A welcome page will connect customers with related content, including free books, news, music and movies,” explains AppleInsider. “Most of the free content will only be available while at the Starbucks location,” with the coffee giant getting an undisclosed cut of any sales.
Yahoo says that the service was designed to be “bite-sized,” meaning content that can be consumed in only a few minutes. “Users across the Internet are moving more into this ‘snackable behavior’ to begin with,” explains Burke Culligan, vice president of product management at Yahoo. (We hope he’s not using code words for “you all have short attention spans.”)
Apple is also part of the Starbucks Digital Network equation as well, allowing customers to download the Starbucks free song of the week directly from iTunes while at the store, instead of the previous method which required cards with song codes. It’s not Apple’s first endeavor with Starbucks, who has made the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store available to customers for several years now.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter