Starbucks Digital Network, a digital platform with news, entertainment, lifestyle and downloadable content, was launched today throughout 6,800 Starbucks stores in the USA. Starbucks wants their customers to spend more time in their stores, and the partnership with Yahoo! seemed the perfect solution.
Starbucks officials say that they picked Yahoo! for this project due to the premium services and great expertise it has offered along years: ‘Yahoo! is known for offering unique and compelling online experiences and employs some of the best technical minds in the business. Almost 20 content providers are involved in this project, starting with iTunes, LinkedIn and finishing with Rodale and WSJ.com.
The access to the digital platform is made via Starbucks’ free Wi-Fi networks using laptops, tablets and smart phones. The news section will be updated with news from the New York Times, USA Today, WSJ.com and the Yahoo. The entertainment section will be served by Twitter, Flicker and iTunes, the latter also offering the possibility to donate 15$ to a local school through DonorsChoose.org.
During this week, Starbucks customers can donate the 15$ if they buy a ticket for ‘Waiting for Superman’, a documentary on the American educational system. For the reading public, several publishers like Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Penguin Group (USA), and Simon & Schuster offer numerous titles to be accessed online, from books to magazines on various topics. This week, Starbucks offers a sneak preview of ‘Rescue’, Anita Shreve’s new novel, due to be launched on the 30th of November.
Whether or not this type of portal will succeed in keeping customers around longer remains to be seen, but this is an interesting way for Starbucks to act as an advertising gateway of sorts, tailoring user xperiences around content and publishers. Yahoo’s been an interesting partner for this project, but it is very well versed in portal offerings and operations. The network has been making a number of changes to its social structure over the years–the most recent being Y Connect.