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Starbucks - Your Next Music Superstore?

simoniker posted about 10 years ago | from the also-kitchen-sink dept.

Music 226

prostoalex writes "The Fast Company magazine looks into the next horizon in music retailing - allowing customers to choose the songs they like in relaxed environment and burning custom CDs from digital copies of the content. The claimed innovator in the field is none other than Seattle-based Starbucks: 'This August, Starbucks will install individual music-listening stations, with CD-burning capabilities, in 10 existing Starbucks locations in Seattle. From there, the concept rolls out to Texas in the fall, including Starbucks stores in the music mecca of Austin. With the help of technology partner Hewlett-Packard, Starbucks plans to have 100 coffee shops across the country enabled with Hear Music CD-burning stations by next Christmas, and more than 1,000 locations up and running by the end of 2005.' And what's wrong with traditional music outlets? 'Schultz and MacKinnon came to believe that the core Starbucks customer, an affluent 25- to 50-year-old who's likelier to be tuned in to NPR than to MTV or one of the nine gazillion radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc., probably feels ignored by the music industry.'"

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226 comments

10 existing Starbucks locations in Seattle (5, Funny)

Neil Blender (555885) | about 10 years ago | (#9636927)

That's 0.00000001% of the Seattle locations.

Re:10 existing Starbucks locations in Seattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9636979)

I guess they must be everywhere out there. Seriously I don't think I've ever even SEEN a Starbucks within 50 miles of my house, and I have never been to one because of this. Probably not missing much...

Re:10 existing Starbucks locations in Seattle (1)

Drawkcab (550036) | about 10 years ago | (#9637404)

Guess you've never flown anywhere (I can't think of any major airports without some) or spent much time in a major us city. They have around 8000 stores. A major percentage of all coffee shops are now Starbucks. Its gaining on the number of McDonalds locations, and presumably you've been there at least once.

As for whether you're missing much, no. They actually do have decent coffee, but so do virtually all competing coffee places by now. If you go to a dedicated coffee shop (not a restaurant that happens to have coffee) that makes an effort to have good quality coffee, then they're probably as good or better than Starbucks. But they did help raise the bar, and it was harder to get a decent cup of coffee in much of the US 10 or 20 years ago.

Re:10 existing Starbucks locations in Seattle (3, Funny)

funny-jack (741994) | about 10 years ago | (#9636990)

That's 0.00000001% of the Seattle locations.

...in one tower downtown.

Core Starbucks Customer?? (5, Interesting)

g33kgirl (571248) | about 10 years ago | (#9637041)

'Schultz and MacKinnon came to believe that the core Starbucks customer, an affluent 25- to 50-year-old who's likelier to be tuned in to NPR than to MTV or one of the nine gazillion radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc., probably feels ignored by the music industry.'

What Starbucks are they looking at? The few times I've been in a Starbucks, it's been full of dumb teenagers humming Brittney Spears songs. It's not like the stuff they're promoting isn't mainstream anyway. It's just a different branch of mainstream.

Show me a Starbucks where they play Mineral, Freakwater, or Belle and Sebastian, and I'll be impressed.

(On a slightly related note: one of the funniest things I have ever seen was at a Starbucks in St. Louis, MO, where I went to college. A bunch of punk kids (15-18 years old, I'd guess), with their anarchy patches and bright colored mohawks, were sitting outside the local Starbucks, happily sipping their corporate-whore coffee. I laughed my ass off. Ah, the irony.)

Re:Core Starbucks Customer?? (5, Insightful)

Neil Blender (555885) | about 10 years ago | (#9637113)

What Starbucks are they looking at? The few times I've been in a Starbucks...

Anecdotes != data. I'm sure Starbucks has spent millions determining their demographics.

Re:Core Starbucks Customer?? (3, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | about 10 years ago | (#9637183)

It's just a different branch of mainstream.


Isn't that an oxymoron? How can there be more than one "main" branch?


Show me a Starbucks where they play Mineral, Freakwater, or Belle and Sebastian


Ah, yes. Everybody thinks their own favorite bands are edgy, eclectic well-kept secrets, and everything else is corporate mass media pablum. News flash: "underground cachet" is just another marketing technique.

Re:Core Starbucks Customer?? (1)

Carnildo (712617) | about 10 years ago | (#9637216)

Show me a Starbucks where they play Mineral, Freakwater, or Belle and Sebastian, and I'll be impressed.

Show me a Starbucks where they play Mozart, Bach, or Vivaldi and I'll be impressed.

Re:Core Starbucks Customer?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637234)

Show me a Starbucks where they play Mineral, Freakwater, or Belle and Sebastian, and I'll be impressed.

Show me a Starbucks where they play Mozart, Bach, or Vivaldi and I'll be impressed.


Show me a Starbucks where the play deathmetal and 120 decibals and I'll be impressed.

Re:Core Starbucks Customer?? (1)

ashesblow (787180) | about 10 years ago | (#9637284)

Cafe decible (a small place here in arizona, thats about to go broke) plays metal.

no numetal though...

Re:Core Starbucks Customer?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637239)

they didn't say their target market was emo kids, you moron. they said it was people who listen to npr (and other similar characteristics).

Re:Core Starbucks Customer?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637253)

A bunch of punk kids (15-18 years old, I'd guess), with their anarchy patches and bright colored mohawks, were sitting outside the local Starbucks, happily sipping their corporate-whore coffee. I laughed my ass off. Ah, the irony.)

Like you can get a decent cup of coffee at Cicero's smartass. Guess what, corporate whores have taken over the world.

Re:10 existing Starbucks locations in Seattle (1)

sben (71467) | about 10 years ago | (#9637267)

Per starbucks.com, Seattle has ~131 locations (searching for all retail stores within 10 miles of Seattle (city center), discarding suburb locations).

Seattle has ~560000 people, ~510000 > 14 years old), so that's about 1 Starbucks per 4000 people.

There are also two "Urban Coffee Opportunities", whatever those are.

There are 319 locations within 50 miles of Seattle's city center.

Re:10 existing Starbucks locations in Seattle (1)

sben (71467) | about 10 years ago | (#9637289)

When I say "4000 people", I mean "4000 coffee drinkers", which should go without saying, but perhaps not everybody is as caffeine addicted as I am....

Sit down and enjoy the coffee (4, Insightful)

SIGALRM (784769) | about 10 years ago | (#9636934)

Starbucks will install individual music-listening stations, with CD-burning capabilities, in 10 existing Starbucks locations in Seattle
Starbucks, with their deployment of wireless APs in their stores, and now with the music concept, is really working hard to keep customers sitting down longer in their stores, consuming their products.

Re:Sit down and enjoy the coffee (5, Funny)

tntguy (516721) | about 10 years ago | (#9636941)

An epic task, given the nature of caffeine.

Re:Sit down and enjoy the coffee (4, Funny)

Steve Embalmer (783552) | about 10 years ago | (#9636962)

keep customers sitting down longer in their stores, consuming their products

Heh, just what I need, more of their products. I get no sleep as it is :)

Re:Sit down and enjoy the coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637047)

Call me crazy, but when I go to a cafe, I'm mostly interested in coffee and maybe a cookie, not music or wi-fi, and not having to search for a seat amongst all the people waiting for their CD to finish burning. Is that so wrong?

Re:Sit down and enjoy the coffee (1)

radish (98371) | about 10 years ago | (#9637088)

Which is annoying, seeing as I can never get a seat at any of the 5(!) starbucks within a 1 block radius of my apartment.

Not quite... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637218)

Actually I think what Starbucks is doing is trying to find ways to leverage the fact that they are everywhere. If retail is all about location, location, location, then Starbucks is in a really good position. Spending more time there doesn't actually help Starbucks unless you keep buying more coffee. While have wifi might cause that to happen, this wouldn't.

Basically Starbucks is well suited to selling anything that doesn't take much physical space. Why go to tower records, when you can just go grab a mocha and burn exactly what you want? Why go to Blockbuster, when you can burn the movie you want at Starbucks? Why go to Best Buy to get the latest software when you can get it at Starbucks?

Of course the obvious question is why don't you just get all that stuff off of Itunes, etc. Starbucks is targeting the market that is really most likely to be in the know about Itunes, etc. So I do wonder if their opportunity here is fleeting.

The same thing might be said about their wifi hotspots. Good theory, but with more places offering it for free, and 3g slowly working its way into the world, it's really not as valuable. The advantage they have is that they are ubiquitous and a lot of people are going to go there for coffee anyhow. But if I can go someplace that has good coffee and free wifi why would I pay at Starbucks?

Re:Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637243)

Very insightful, and you posted this as AC? Sad, sad waste of karma.

How much? (-1, Troll)

DAldredge (2353) | about 10 years ago | (#9636936)

Will they overcharge as much for the CD's as they do for that 'coffee' they sell? ;->

DEATH TO BABIES! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637000)

allah will eat your soul

get a clue (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637037)

there's a big difference between a woman's right to make her own medical decisions and a police officer investigating a crime.
idiot.

MODS SUCK BALLS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637417)

let's burn us some mod points!

Second Post!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9636943)

Really, I don't know what I'm so excited about. Just means I'm working late...

Re:Second Post!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9636980)

*grins* 5 minutes. You mods are slipping.

Music Industry (5, Insightful)

einhverfr (238914) | about 10 years ago | (#9636946)

Schultz and MacKinnon came to believe that the core Starbucks customer, an affluent 25- to 50-year-old who's likelier to be tuned in to NPR than to MTV or one of the nine gazillion radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc., probably feels ignored by the music industry.'"

Wonder how they came to that conclusion. :-P

I also wonder why the music industry hasn't.

Re:Music Industry (4, Interesting)

funny-jack (741994) | about 10 years ago | (#9637014)

Because they're entrenched in their current method of making money. To ditch their current method and try something new would be risky and costly. Starbucks however, is looking for new and innovative ways to expand their business, and isn't afraid to risk a little on something that may have big payoffs.

Oh, wait... was that a rhetorical question?

Re:Music Industry (3, Insightful)

nyekulturniy (413420) | about 10 years ago | (#9637067)

There is the question that haunts all businesses: is Starbucks doing something that is outside of its core competency, which is selling coffee? Not every business can do everything well. I know *$s wants to diversify its income sources. Would I buy a *$ CD? It depends if I can't get the music elsewhere.

Re:Music Industry (1)

bersl2 (689221) | about 10 years ago | (#9637017)

I also wonder why the music industry hasn't.

It is far more cost-efficient to provide for the unwashed masses than to cater to a niche market. In otherwords, as usual, The Bottom Line.

Futile (2, Interesting)

Scoria (264473) | about 10 years ago | (#9637080)

I also wonder why the music industry hasn't.

Maybe they have. However, maybe they've also determined that those individuals are already vehemently opposed to "corporately distributed" music, and are thus unlikely to purchase their products.

Such widely propagated beliefs, after all, die hard: According to many, network news is still liberal, American corporations are still honest, and only democrats violate civil liberties. To some, large, corporate music distributors will always be nefarious. And they're already capable of legislating their business model, so why bother?

Size/Price? (4, Funny)

xOleanderx (794187) | about 10 years ago | (#9636951)

I look forward to buying a Venti cd.

I smell desperation... (1, Insightful)

the arbiter (696473) | about 10 years ago | (#9636956)

Poor Starbucks. They've delivered growth at the expense of profitability for sooooo long, and now the bills are coming due.

They'll learn the lesson that no one seems capable of learning from history: you can't rely on expansion to keep up your cash flow forever.

Just ask that other famous Seattle company about how that's working out for 'em.

Well, good luck there, Starbucks. Nice having known you. Good luck with that "branching out" thing.

Re:I smell desperation... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9636971)

Just ask that other famous Seattle company about that's working out for 'em.

You mean "Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag"?

Re:I smell desperation... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9636995)

no... he must be talking about boeing :)

Re:I smell desperation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637126)

I don't think so. He's probably suffering from the all-to-common misconception that Microsoft is located in Seattle.

Re:I smell desperation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637059)

That's just great.

Too bad I stopped going to *BUX a few years ago. Coffee and service both suck.

BTW, they are not in the coffee business. They are in the sugar and milk business.

Re:I smell desperation... (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | about 10 years ago | (#9637095)

Just ask that other famous Seattle company about that's working out for 'em.

Microsoft? Boeing? Amazon? Could you be more specific here?

Re:I smell desperation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637265)

Of all the smack-down responses to the grandparent, yours was the best. Concise and oozing mockery. I loved it. Props.

AC to protect my minimal karma from 'Offtopic'...

Re:I smell desperation... (1)

SIGALRM (784769) | about 10 years ago | (#9637107)

Just ask that other famous Seattle company about how that's working out for 'em

And what other "Seattle company" are you referring to? The one with the $40 billion cash reserve [microsoft.com] ?

Oh yeah, Starbucks wouldn't want to be like them.

Re:I smell desperation... (1)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | about 10 years ago | (#9637295)

One day I'd love to see Microsoft as a whole company announce something like "Well, we're divvying up all the money by seniority and retiring. It's been a blast, seeya!", and then everyone goes and buys a walk in humidor. Has anyone ever heard of a company "committing suicide" from a financially priveleged situation like that?

Re:I smell desperation... (1)

adpowers (153922) | about 10 years ago | (#9637368)

I've been wondering the same thing. Is it possible to just dissolve a company and split the money? I'm sure, if it has happened, it usually only happens with small to medium sized busineses. What would National Buggy Whip Inc. do when they see the car quickly replacing there business? Would they try to adapt and become the National Steering Wheel Co., would they die, or would they just dissolve? Anyone have any examples, I'm quite curious?

Andrew

Re:I smell desperation... (1)

dont_think_twice (731805) | about 10 years ago | (#9637116)

They'll learn the lesson that no one seems capable of learning from history: you can't rely on expansion to keep up your cash flow forever.

Just ask that other famous Seattle company about how that's working out for 'em.


Yea, Microsoft is really screwed. They will probably be filing for bankrucpy any day now. Well, just as soon as they blow through 40 billion dollars and lose their monopoly on computer operating systems and office productivity software, and their ISP business falls through, and their console stops selling, and every other area that Microsoft is doing pretty well in suddenly collapses.

Everyone wins (2, Funny)

Psymunn (778581) | about 10 years ago | (#9637117)

NO, it's a simple business model. It's really sort of a ... not a pyramid, more of a triangle, not so much a scheme... but a plan
Yes, it's a triangle plan. See, all you have to do is open two starbucks, adn get all your employees to open two starbucks. I'll show you some sexy graphs with you holding a lot of money. EVERYONE WINS AND WE ALL RETIRE BY 25

Re:I smell desperation... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637151)

hmm which Seattle based company do you mean?
maybe RealNetworks?
OR Washington Mutual?
OR Safeco?
OR Nordstrom?
OR amazon.com?
OR maybe you mean former Seattle based Boeing?

And what makes you think they can't compete with music stores? They will have a substaintial savings on shipping, and can likely provide the music CDs at a lower price (packaging costs), they already have the locations, so its not an additional cost in that regard...so where is the doubt coming from? Seems to me they can compete with traditional music stores just fine.

Re:I smell desperation... (1)

GoatEnigma (586728) | about 10 years ago | (#9637221)

Yeah better mod up the parent because talking out one's ass is considered "insightful". What are you, the Starbucks accountant?? Maybe you should, I dunno, do some research? Here, try these on:

Starbucks shares hit new high on strong sales [yahoo.com]

5 feel good stocks [fool.com]

Re:I smell desperation... (4, Insightful)

tekunokurato (531385) | about 10 years ago | (#9637291)

What are you TALKING about?? SBUX has EPS of 80+ cents and growing, and its cash flows from operations dwarfs its (still extremely positive) net income; it's been sinking cash from operations INTO expansion, not somehow relying on expansion to fuel cash flow, which really doesn't make ANY sense at all. Jesus christ, you're insane.

Dammit! (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about 10 years ago | (#9636968)

...Finally, someone who had a good idea on how to market music, and I don't drink coffee...

YIKES! (1)

theJerk242 (778433) | about 10 years ago | (#9636973)

Starbucks - Your Next Music Superstore?

I hope not! The coffee is already outrageously expensive as it is. You can just image how expensive the music sold there will be.

Uh..... (-1, Troll)

mfh (56) | about 10 years ago | (#9636974)

Stick with the coffee, guys.

An idea that's long overdue (4, Interesting)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | about 10 years ago | (#9637001)

I've always said that instead of selling tangible product, the music industry needs to shift to a content/service model. All they need to do is put up kiosks where you can insert a CD blank and your credit card, pick from an on-screen catalog, and have the kiosk burn you a copy (and maybe print you the liner notes, and spit out a jewel case, for a couple bucks more).

Of course, I imagine that the music industry would want your copy of the content to be encrypted or otherwise digitally crippled so that you couldn't do what you wanted with it. The real advancement in intellectual property law and consumer rights will come when they offer to let you buy a "no strings attached" license for the content for a buck or two more, which permits you to copy/transform the content as many times/ways as you want, as long as it's for your own non-profit personal use.

Re:An idea that's long overdue (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | about 10 years ago | (#9637139)

You can already do this. I'm sure I remember seeing one at the Virgin Megastore. Nobody seemed very interested in it.

Re:An idea that's long overdue (1)

kzarling (748075) | about 10 years ago | (#9637176)

a "no strings attached" license for the content for a buck or two more??

but that's what it's supposed to be in the first place. unless purchased specifically for non-personal, for-profit use, isn't the purchase supposed to give you that sort of permission as the end-user?

the real advancement in intellectual property law and consumer rights will be when we remember that there are only two distinctions: business use, which allows you to do whatever you want so long as you pay for it, and personal use, which permits you to do whatever you want, so long as its for personal use and no one profits.

i'm not paying more money so that i can have reasonable use of what i have purchased. how about charging clear channel more money for royalties to those songs they air over and over again? no, wait, that's the music we don't want them to make any more money from.

Re:An idea that's long overdue (1)

syousef (465911) | about 10 years ago | (#9637285)

This is already available, only you own the kiosk - its called napster ;-)

But seriously why in a kiosk based model would you need to insert anything but your credit card to get the end product.

For that matter why CD - its cheap but its not reliable media. I'd rather see an improved verison of the IPOD. The consumer buys the player and downloads directly onto it what they want to be able to listen to.

The only problem with that approach is that the music industry (or rather than large record companies) have become very greedy and won't even let you back up your own music in the hope that they'll be able to sell the same music to you again in a different format 3 years down the track.

Interesting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637005)

Starbucks? More like Starsucks.

lol w00t

Starbucks (1, Insightful)

vbrtrmn (62760) | about 10 years ago | (#9637013)

Starbucks - Your Next Anti-Trust?

hmm (0, Troll)

dvdsbydesign.com (793952) | about 10 years ago | (#9637025)

Yeah I only go to starbucks for the coffee I don't think I'd be interested in music there too.. but whatever they can try new strategies if they want.

Starbucks Owner Is A Racist Scum. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637031)

Yeah, I wanna have anything to do with the lowlife's stores.

Wow, I'm the target market. (1)

TedTschopp (244839) | about 10 years ago | (#9637050)

Well, I guess I'm the target market. I listen to NPR, can't stand MTV, and goto StarBucks to use the Free* Internet. I hope the music is to my taste.

We shall have to see. But I doubt it.

Ted
*Free becuase my company pays for it.

Not Innovative (2, Interesting)

VividU (175339) | about 10 years ago | (#9637053)

There was something like this back in the day. It was a jukebox type deal, you'd pick your songs and it would make a tape for your, label and all. Maybe it made CD's too. I don't remember.

Selection, Quality, Price will make or break this (5, Insightful)

izx (460892) | about 10 years ago | (#9637054)

This has the potential to become another non-conventional music outlet like iTMS, but only if they do it right.

The "NPR-not-MTV listener" they are catering to will have widely varying music tastes, not just the Top 40. How much of a selection will each Starbucks provide? Do they plan to have T1 linkups to a central server? If they work with local storage, then the source tracks will probably be already compressed tracks, affecting quality. I don't see each Starbucks having a half-terabyte RAID array to hold losslessly compressed originals.

Secondly, price. This can be a one-stop-music-shop, catering not just to those who see it and burn/buy a CD on a whim. Since it doesn't offer any of the advantages of iTMS-style music downloads (instant transfer to computers, portables, etc.), they better price it at less than $0.99 a track. A fixed-price option, e.g. 1 80-minute CD for $12-$15 might be very popular.

It's upto Starbucks to use its enormous geographical clout to negotiate a sweetheart deal with the recording industry, and make it as attractive to the customer as possible. Otherwise, with audio-CD only Discmans going the way of the dodo, and the growing popularity of iTMS-like solutions, this scheme will turn out at best to be a novelty.

Re:Selection, Quality, Price will make or break th (1)

cbiffle (211614) | about 10 years ago | (#9637165)

While I agree with most of what you say, I had a couple notes I wanted to make:

1. On half-terabyte RAID arrays: keep in mind that one can fit 800GB in two 3.5" half-height bays these days. Compressed losslessly, that's a hell of a lot of music. (Based on my own experience with FLAC getting songs to 33-40% of their original size, I'd estimate 3510 full CDs.)

2. On the content, Starbucks is already pushing a lot of indie or pseudo-indie jazz, blues, and world content. They've got the content to draw on, and it's diverse, if niche. Moving this off of CD inventory into an on-demand system could actually save them money, not to mention increase selection (and, presumably, sales).

Re:Selection, Quality, Price will make or break th (1)

955301 (209856) | about 10 years ago | (#9637230)

Did you forget that Starbucks already has a deal providing T-Mobile hotspots at their locations? They are already primed for this given that infrastructure - play some little cache-forward/Top 30 favorites at this location kinda games to work on low-bandwidth points.

But then again, since when have they put up locations where there isn't enough traffic to warrant a proper network connection?

Hell, their almost always close enough to eachother to use mesh networks :)

Re:Selection, Quality, Price will make or break th (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 10 years ago | (#9637349)

Humbug. Give each Starbucks a reasonably fast Internet connection to the central data warehouse, a reasonably large local storage system for cache (you can buy 200GB drives pretty cheap these days, so 1TB of cache isn't unreasonable), a good lossless audio compression codec, and an LRU algorithm for when the local cache gets full. That would give you 99% of the benefit of storing the entire audio library locally, without the overhead of actually having to download any audio file until the first time a customer requests it.


Really, it's not that hard of a problem to solve. Especially if the system implementers have access to 24/7 free coffee during the development period...

Fantastic, if... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637068)

...they give you regular CDs with no dirty DRM tricks. MP3s, and goofey DRM is are deal killers that make me think of McDonald's stupid Bigmac tunes through Sony's DRM and Windoze only SonicStage. I'm sure that's not the image they have in mind. If it won't work in a regular CD player, I no more want it than a Bigmac.

I hate Starbucks but Schultz and MacKinnon are 100% correct. Here in Baton Rouge we have several shops that purchase, blend and roast their own coffee. Their coffee kicks Starbuck and typically cost less but good music is very attractive. I hate record stores more by a longshot than I hate the home of a second rate $4.00 cup of coffee. A set up like this could make me love them.

Now, if only they have the guts and brains to get away from RIAA label music, they would be my heros.

What's so special about Starbucks? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637091)

Anyone with a computer and broadband can do this at home, already. What will be so special about Starbucks that I would want to burn CDs there instead of in my living room? I suppose if the Kiosks are cheap enough to run they can still be profitable with a small percentage of that market. But I don't see them being a music superstore.

Michael

Re:What's so special about Starbucks? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637406)

Anyone with a computer and broadband can do this at home, already. What will be so special about Starbucks

I have a computer and broadband, and I would buy this service! I would LOVE to hand my song list to someone who would cut the CD. My time is worth more than the hour it takes dinking around with downloads and ripping and buying blank CD's and creating a CD, and creating a label. Much rather hand it off to a "specialist" (a kid doing it all day for cheap).

Slashdotted - text from site (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637098)

Drew's Crank Yankers call transcript

Lil Napoleon + Wednesday, August 6, 2003 at 7:53 AM

I was bored one day and wound up transcribing this. I'm not sure if it's too long to fit in the character limit for this board . . . and there might be a few mistakes, because I'm not a fluent speaker of ghetto English. ;p Silent Virgin, you can put this in the transcripts part of your website if you want.

woman: Hello?
Adam: Hey, is Bo in?

woman: Okay, hold on . . .
Adam: All right . . .
boy: Hello?
Adam: Bo, this is Adam Carolla.
Bo: Hi!
Adam: You know the show Loveline, right?
Bo: Hell, yeah.
Adam: Yeah, good. Are you in a room that's quiet where we could talk a little bit?
Bo: Well, I can go where I jack off . . .
Adam: Yeah, go--
Drew: Go where you jack off!
Adam: Yeah, go where you jack off!
Bo: All right!
Adam: All right. Are you there?
Drew: All right, we're in the barn, that's good.
Adam: Okay. So, Bo, what we're doing here is we're putting together a tape for MTV because we're trying to get the show back on the air--
Bo: Oh, hell, yeah, man!
Adam: And we're gonna have Drew kind of hip it up a little, be a little more urban, okay?
Drew: Doctah Drew in the HIZZY!
Bo: Hell, yeah!
Adam: All right. So, let's just take it like a regular Loveline call, and we'll just start at the beginning. Bo, eighteen, you're on Loveline, what's your problem?
Bo: Well, my problem is I have no sex life.
Drew: But why ain'tcha gettin' no play, playa?
Bo: I don't know.
Drew: So you ain't hittin' the skins.
Bo: Yeah.
Drew: Motherfucker.
Adam: Mm-hmm.
Bo: Yeah.
Drew: You undoubtedly are lookin' to get the throbbin' guzzle. Ya see I'm sayin'?
Bo: Absolutely, yeah.
Drew: And you, in your mind, you'd be lovin' to flippin' bitches twenty-four seven, that'd be what you're into. Instead, you're busy pistol-rubbin', blunt-tuggin', you'd even take a cream cap in the ass if you could to get one of these motherfuckin' bitches down with your ass. You know what I'm sayin'? In the meantime, you're sittin' in the hizzy, by yourself, thinkin' about a little areolapalooza action; in the meantime, yo' dong ain't doin' shit.
And you'd be-- hey, look, we heard when the call picked up, you got all those shorties runnin' around there; that hizzy fo' tizzy is no place for you to be bustin' a nut right now. You gotta get out there and get your bitch spunk-drunk. You feelin' me? You sure, you feelin' me?
Bo: Yeah, I hear you, I hear you.
Drew: If you had a hizzy, you'd be outta the...house! I'm tellin' ya, motherfucker, you would even go for some muff-yo-tang that would put you right over the top. I'm tellin' ya, nigga, that it would put you into the mode where you would have no problem gettin' that freaky shit flowin' twenty-four seven, flowin' semen here in your house. In yo' hizzy, fo' chizzy!
Bo: Go with the flow, don't talk like this; talk the way you want to!
Drew: So I don't have to use all that freakatoric up the ass, areolapalooza, muff-yo-tang, throbbin' guzzle, cap in the ass shit, right?
Bo: Fuck them, be yourself, who gives a shit, say what you want.
Drew: Look, mothafucka, I'm tellin' you, don't be a playa hater, 'cause when you tap her in the ass, you ain't gonna be interested in pistol-rubbin' no more, and the digit is dizzle, and in the hizzy fo' chizzy gonna be great on the q-t fo' real!
Bo: Stay fresh, nigga.
Adam: All right.
Bo: Aight. Bye.
Drew: Peace out.
--Lil Napoleon
Lil Napoleon + Wednesday, August 6, 2003 at 8:00 AM
Oops, I forgot that triangle brackets would show up as HTML . . . the three blank lines are supposed to contain the descriptions: (phone rings), (baby squeals in background), and (Bo tries to interrupt), respectively.
--Lil Napoleon
greg + Wednesday, August 6, 2003 at 5:15 PM
Does anyone have the orginal clip?
--greg
Passionate, Passionate Man + Wednesday, August 6, 2003 at 7:35 PM
Wow, it's even funny when I read it.
PPM
--Passionate, passionate man
arp + Friday, August 22, 2003 at 1:37 AM
Props to you, LN, for posting it -- I've tried to transcribe it bit-by-bit each time it's been played, but between how fast Drew speaks and laughing my ass off each time it aired, I'd all but given up. Hmm...I may just have to conclude all future correspondence with "the digit is dizzle" or "stay fresh, nigga"...
--arp
Home > Forum > Drew's Crank Yankers call transcript ~ Post a Follow-Up

Starbucks - the Wal-Mart of Coffee Shops... (4, Insightful)

geekwench (644364) | about 10 years ago | (#9637125)

This is nothing new for Starbucks.
Once upon a time, coffee shops sold coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and other drinkables. A few added various sweet pastries, like croissants, but that was about it. Then along comes the post-expansion Sign O' the Mermaid (it was once a little independent coffee shop, too).
Suddenly, to keep up with the Seattle Menace, coffee shops must now sell all of the above as well as sandwiches, soup, coffee mugs, branded coffee makers, candy, books, gift cards... you get the idea. A small coffee shop that just wants to focus on the core product -- namely, coffee -- has to work hard to establish a niche in the neighborhood or close its doors. Most of them don't want to be multi-specialty retailers, and they shouldn't have to be.
Starbucks now sells so many things that coffee is almost an afterthought. Think that won't affect the quality of the product? Do a taste-test with Starbucks versus one of the other chains out there. (Personal favorite: Diedrich's.) Even the lightest of Starbucks' roasts (most are pretty dark) comes off tasting acidic and rather burnt.

So yeah: make room, if you want, alongside the logo-emblazoned travel mugs and Starbucks brand press-pots for "Mermaid Music Vols. 1" through infinity. I'll walk up the street to my local indie coffee shop and get cuppa joe that doesn't taste like muddy battery acid.

Re:Starbucks - the Wal-Mart of Coffee Shops... (1)

danheskett (178529) | about 10 years ago | (#9637157)

The problem is that lots of people REALLY like Starbucks coffee.. your opinion is not exactly the average opinion of Starbucks customers.

The average Starbucks customer visits at least 2 times a week, and spends $5 per visit.

They love it.

Are these actual CD quality songs? (3, Interesting)

rollingcalf (605357) | about 10 years ago | (#9637128)

Or will the songs be burned from an archive of music that has been lossly compressed (more lossy than a standard CD)? Similar to when you burn downloaded songs from an online service?

Let these be actual CD quality songs, burned to actual CDs that are playable in any standards-compliant CD player, without DRM or artificial errors or any other insane copy-protection scheme, and I will become a frequent customer. But somehow I don't think the MPAA would allow that. Knowing them, the songs must be crippled in some way, by reduced quality or encryption or both.

Not a chance (3, Insightful)

silicon not in the v (669585) | about 10 years ago | (#9637133)

You can't even trust Charbucks to not burn their coffee, and that's what they are supposed to be good at. No WAY would they be able to handle a music store.

Yes, chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637245)

You can't even trust Charbucks to not burn their coffee

They are supposed to burn the CDs, you know.

The three customers.. (4, Funny)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about 10 years ago | (#9637144)

who don't have their own MP3 player and/or laptop will probably appreciate this.

Re:The three customers.. (1)

angrykeyboarder (791722) | about 10 years ago | (#9637414)

Speaking for myself and those I know - none of us have MP3 players (ok I just got one - A CD/MP3 player hybrid) or laptops and I'm sure there are thousands upon thousands out there, just like us...

Starbucks == Borders?? (1)

BlindSpy (772849) | about 10 years ago | (#9637163)

If this happens starbucks and borders will be exactly the same store... why dont they just merge?

Re:Starbucks == Borders?? (1)

angrykeyboarder (791722) | about 10 years ago | (#9637393)

A slight exaggeration. I've not seen thousands of books at Starbucks..

Although the merger idea is intriguing. ;-)

Re:Starbucks == Borders?? (1)

dont_think_twice (731805) | about 10 years ago | (#9637408)

If this happens starbucks and borders will be exactly the same store... why dont they just merge?

Why don't they? Maybe because Starbucks has already practically merged with Barnes and Noble?

What's stopping the independents? (4, Interesting)

danharan (714822) | about 10 years ago | (#9637182)

There are a lot of cafes that are very hip, without the poseur stereotype associated with Starbucks. Many already offer free wireless and/or computer access.

If this model was easy to implement, a lot of them would probably go for it. Maybe an enterprising slashdotter will take this on?

Suprisingly Interesting (5, Insightful)

Zcipher (756241) | about 10 years ago | (#9637190)

I RTFA expecting to come out of it thinking "gee, brand dilution like this usually means the beginning of the end for companies." Instead, I was surprised to end up thinking what a neat idea this could be, if implemented correctly.

I think I'm probably preaching to the choir here when I say that there are lots of songs out there that I like but so very few full albums that I want to own. Thus, the joy that is P2P and iTMS; combined with a cd burner, all the music I listen to in my car these days is mixed the way I want it to be, and in ways you'll never find on a commercial mix (try finding a CD with Nightwish, E Nomine, and L'Arc en~Ciel on it ^_^). So the idea of a mix cd with actual labelling and even liner notes is naturally fairly appealing. Simply put, it passes the "I'd give it a try" test.

Three major questions that aren't answered in the article, though, which would be major deciding factors for me:

  • How varied is the selection? The article claims there's lots of tracks and implies that part of the appeal is the fact that it introduces people to lesser known stuff they won't be sold at major retailers, but how obscure are we talking? My main complaint with iTMS has been a lack of foreign music; I want my Nightwish and my Yuki Kajiura, dammit!
  • Are the CDs encumbered with spyware and copy protection? I want none of that garbage, and this would be a good source for legal music (especially if it could be ripped onto my computer in something nice and high bitrate)
  • What format/bitrate are the source tracks stored in? I don't want to make a mix CD only to discover that its source was all 128 kbps wma garbage, especially since, as mentioned above, re-ripping is a big selling point to me (and if it's not over 128 kbps, then since the price/convenience point is worse than iTMS, there's really no point).

Nevertheless, I think this is a fairly neat idea; the current distribution models for music have left a lot of great stuff behind, so going back to a system where people can get recommendations and such is pretty cool. And the inclusion of the Audiogalaxy-esque "you might also like . . ." feature is just awesome; that was my favorite part of AG, and it's something I sorely miss.

yeah, right. (1)

vettemph (540399) | about 10 years ago | (#9637203)

the core Starbucks customer, an affluent 25- to 50-year-old

*caugh* bullshit *errhem*

"I am affluent, now give me coffee you little tatooed and pierced piece of crap!"

know I know where to hang if I want to meet affluent folks or just want to feel the affluence in the air.

Ignored by the music industry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637213)

They could post here and be ignored by Slashdotters. That's what I do.

Ignored by the Music Industry? (2, Informative)

gellenburg (61212) | about 10 years ago | (#9637215)

'Schultz and MacKinnon came to believe that the core Starbucks customer, an affluent 25- to 50-year-old who's likelier to be tuned in to NPR than to MTV or one of the nine gazillion radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc., probably feels ignored by the music industry.'

I tend to agree with them. This affluent 25- to 50-year-old (32, actually), pretty much only listens to NPR, but they're missing one important fact in their equation...

They're assuming I either already, or probably will, visit StarBucks.

(I've only been to Starbucks twice in my life, and the second time was to give them a 2nd chance. Needless to say: their coffee sucks, costs way too much, and I can brew a better tasting pot for myself right at home.)

Yes, I'm ignored by the Music Industry, but I've found the iTunes [itunes.com] Music Store, and AllOfMP3 [allofmp3.com] to be viable, and more preferable, alternatives.

Nup, try again (2, Interesting)

cuteseal (794590) | about 10 years ago | (#9637217)

Personally, I'd go to a coffee shop to drink coffee, and to a music store to burn/buy music. Yes, maybe listen to music, but not buy music. Besides, you already queue up for your coffee - now you want to queue up for your music as well while your coffee goes cold?

starbucks (1)

dont_think_twice (731805) | about 10 years ago | (#9637220)

It is getting harder and harder to hate Starbucks every day. I try, but my will is breaking down. They have so much going for them nowdays:

- pretty good coffee
- reasonable prices
- comfortable atmophere, including good music playing and plenty of room to study

Now add the fact that they are making an attempt to sell decent music to non-britney-lovers, and I really have to hand it to them. They know how to wooo a customer.

Re:starbucks (3, Informative)

angrykeyboarder (791722) | about 10 years ago | (#9637270)

Reasonable prices? A $4.00 cup of coffee is reasonable? LMAO

Don't get me wrong, I often stop by for a Vite Mocha. And sometimes feel like a sucker, But hey I like the stuff!

Re:starbucks (1)

dont_think_twice (731805) | about 10 years ago | (#9637325)

Reasonable prices? A $4.00 cup of coffee is reasonable? LMAO

Ummm, maybe they just really like me there, but I dont think I have ever paid more than 2.50 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and the largest size (whatever the italian word for that is) nearly comes in a bucket.

Re:starbucks (1)

rebelcool (247749) | about 10 years ago | (#9637277)

not to mention decent service. Local shops with hipsters wearing ironic t-shirts behind the counter tend to sneer, whereas the starbucks folks actually know my name, my brew, and give me free drinks now and then.

And I dont go in everyday. Only once or twice a week.

Who uses CDs anymore? (2, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | about 10 years ago | (#9637240)

I can not put one in my iPod. And if I don't lose or scratch it on the way home, I get to manually enter each track title.

They should offer a) 128Kbps CBR MP3 downloads over their wireless connection and b) business card-sized mini-CDs with a copy of the above. Sure both record companies and audiophiles will riot, but that's what 99% of customers want and use. Whoever wants to make money selling music better take notice.

Ignored? No... not ignored... (1)

hoggoth (414195) | about 10 years ago | (#9637251)

> the core Starbucks customer, an affluent 25- to 50-year-old who's likelier to be tuned in to NPR than to MTV or one of the nine gazillion radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc., probably feels ignored by the music industry

Ignored isn't the right word.
"Persecuted" is closer...
"Prosecuted", that's it, "prosecuted" is the right word.

little offtopic but.. (1)

Keruo (771880) | about 10 years ago | (#9637254)

This article reminded me of a strange device I saw at the grocery store the other day. After closer inspection, the machine turned out to be automatic picture burner. You just flipped empty cd in and plugged the memory card from your camera to the drive and with assistance of 2-row lcd display, it burned the contents of your memory card to the cd.

As for starbucks, it was one of the stores I wanted to visit on my trip to usa, and it was slight dissappointment.. their coffee wasn't that good at all, atleast their regular black one

Re:little offtopic but.. (1)

angrykeyboarder (791722) | about 10 years ago | (#9637323)

Here's a hint: People don't go to Starbucks for plain old coffee. :-)

It's the variations on Espresso that they go there for. LOL

Might not work in Austin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637272)

Well I don't know that this will fly in Austin...its a rather fickle place for music stores and only the crem de la crem make it here. So it will have to very well thought out...and executed.

I have watched every major chain record store come through here and then close...due to the superiority of great local shops here. But then again those are closing at alarming rates too.

It's already been done (1)

stames (692349) | about 10 years ago | (#9637275)

At Starbucks on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, they've already done this. It's actually pretty cool--they've got a pretty good library of music, and it's expanding pretty quickly, from what I've been able to tell.

Starbuccaneer's (2, Funny)

CHaN_316 (696929) | about 10 years ago | (#9637342)

I think Starbucks can increase their revenue by following Monkey Island 4's lead. They should open a Starbuccaneer's which caters to today's modern pirates (y'arr). They could offer free p2p services inside which will allow mighty pirates to steal games, movies, and music!

Screenshots of the Starbuccaneer's concepts available here [heise.de] and here [cdmag.com] .

I'm sure Starbucks can buy the licence to use Starbuccaneer's pretty easily.

Soon, all companies will be Starbucks! (3, Funny)

genesplicer (314591) | about 10 years ago | (#9637345)

Up here in the land of Tim Horton's, Ron James (a stand-up comic) jokes that he "likes to go to a Starbucks once in a while to see what the world would be like if the Nazis had won the war."
Might this music distribution idea further their aims??
Hail Mermaid!

Already posted on Slashdot a few months ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637357)

Here [slashdot.org] .

Do the editors actually look to see if... nevermind. I'm not new here...

shiT?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9637363)

contact to Msee if

Yawn! Physical CD's are so last century. (0, Troll)

xigxag (167441) | about 10 years ago | (#9637425)

This being Starbucks, a large proportion of their clientele are gonna have iPods, so they really ought to have co-branded iTMS kiosks on site, with special deals prominently featured. E.g., they could sell a "mocha mix" of songs, 10 for 5 bucks, that would have 5 songs you pick yourself mixed in with 5 preselected "freebies" picked for you by StarApple's marketing arm. Or maybe a "3 songs and a latte combo". Or some other creative deal that doesn't isn't limited by physical media.
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