Apple announces music partnership with Starbucks

Alongside all-new iPods and the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, Apple today also announced an exclusive partnership with Starbucks that lets users access the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store on their iPod touch or iPhone, or PC or Mac running iTunes, at participating locations. When a user enters a participating location, their device will automatically recognize the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store using a high-speed Wi-Fi wireless network with no connection fee or hotspot login. Customers will have full access to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, including a new “Now Playing” service which displays the name of the song playing in the Starbucks store at that moment.

“Getting free access to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store and the ‘Now Playing’ service at Starbucks is a great way for customers to discover new music,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Imagine walking into a participating Starbucks, hearing a great song, and being able to instantly download it onto your iPod or iPhone. We think this is very cool.”

“With this partnership, we’re bringing Apple’s leadership in digital music together with not only our retail footprint, but the unique Starbucks experience, to offer customers a world-class digital music experience,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, Starbucks Coffee Company. “Introducing this new service is a natural extension of our music strategy which only enhances the retail coffee experience for customers by helping them discover and acquire new music instantly.”

The service will make its debut at more than 600 Starbucks company-operated locations in New York and Seattle on October 2, and will continue its national rollout to 350 Starbucks stores in the San Francisco Bay area on November 7; 500 stores in Los Angeles in early February 2008; 300 stores in Chicago in March 2008; and additional markets throughout the US later in 2008.

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