Starbucks And Spotify Team Up To Create “Music Ecosystem”

Spotify will power the music in 7,000 Starbucks locations around the U.S., as part of an upcoming partnership between the music-streaming platform and the coffee titan.

As part of the “music ecosystem,” Starbucks employees will receive Spotify Premium subscriptions, which they will use to set the music in-store. The partner-influenced playlists will then be accessible on Spotify via the Starbucks app. In addition, Spotify will have a section of its platform dedicated to new Starbucks playlists.

For the first time, Starbucks will allow a third-party to access the stars in the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, which Spotify users will be able to earn.

“People go to Starbucks stores for the experience and by adding personalized music through Spotify, Starbucks is extending that experience online as well,” says Jay Marwaha, chief executive (CEO) of DC-based analytics platform SYNTASA.

“With behavior analytics, Starbucks can personalize the customer experience inside and outside their stores by turning baristas into DJs,” he adds. “This psychographic behavior will promote strong loyalty to the stores and create a stronger bond between customers and stores.”

Consumers tend to have a strong connection with the Starbucks they consider “theirs.” Because each location will have different music, as opposed to a standard playlist set by Spotify, this partnership will likely solidify that feeling for people. It also serves to make music more social, according to Tyler Francois, CEO of urRadio, a start-up that combines music with social.

“There’s been a huge argument for the past five years in streaming services on the best way to recommend or curate music,” Francois says. “Music is social. The best music curators are your friends, your family, your favorite celebrities, whoever it may be. If your best friend gives you a CD and says you have to listen to it, you’re probably going to. If a random person, gives you a CD, are you going to listen to it? Probably not.”

It’s not clear when the “multi-year” partnership will officially begin, though Starbucks and Spotify both announced signing letters of intent earlier this week. Eventually the program will be expanded into Canada and the U.K.

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