If you’ve ever sat in a Starbucks and quietly fumed, while Shazam-ing the artist playing a dubious acoustic cover of one of your favourite songs over the in-store speakers, then today’s news might provide somewhat of a fillip.
The coffee company has announced Spotify will now be powering music in Starbucks’ 7,000 locations across the United States from later this year, before extending to the UK and Canada.
The “first-of-its-kind music ecosystem” will give Starbucks’ 10 million rewards members the chance to influence in-store playlists, while also earning “Stars as Currency.”
The former suggests patrons will be able to chip in their own requests for what should be played at Starbucks locations. Details on the latter remain unclear, but it sounds as if Spotify Premium customers may earn stars towards free drinks through their monthly subscription.
A media release reads: “Spotify users will enjoy opportunities to obtain “Stars as Currency” for My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program. This will represent the first time that Starbucks loyalty program stars can be accessed by a third party for the benefit of Starbucks MSR members and Spotify users.”
Spotify users will also be able to access Starbucks’ music through the platform, as part of the multi-year arrangement.
“Spotify will also include a dedicated section on Spotify featuring new playlists from Starbucks and its most popular music from the past 20 years, available to all Spotify users,” the release added.
Starbucks’ 150,000 U.S. employees (it calls them ‘partners’) will also get Spotify Premium for free, a benefit that’ll roll out to baristas in the UK and Canada thereafter.
The partnership could bring to an end end Starbucks’ long association with Apple. The two giants of their respective worlds had long partnered to offer a customers a free MP3 download each week.
Given Apple and Spotify are set to butt heads with the seemingly imminent launch of the Beats Music platform, the timing for Spotify to one-up Apple couldn't be better.