Starbucks wants your virtual bucks too. The coffee chain is partnering with Yahoo to introduce a digital portal and store for those customers who use its free Wi-Fi network, reports the Associated Press. The new service will offer free and discounted news, local information, e-books, movies, and music. Contributing services include iTunes, Patch, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Zagat.
When a customer logs into a Starbucks Wi-Fi location, a browser window will pop up, displaying the content offerings of the day. A majority of the free content offered will only be available while in the store and the portal is designed to be a fun 5-20 minute distraction for customers. The company hopes users will purchase content before they leave the store and/or return to the store more often to finish the book or movie they were watching.
Starbucks will also offer its iTunes “free song of the week” over the digital portal. Previously, customers had to pick up cards with Internet-redeemable codes on them.
Coupled with free Wi-Fi, the service is intended to help stave off a growing number of rivals, including fast food restaurants that have begun offering premium coffee drinks for cheaper prices. Rival McDonald’s has even remodeled many of its locations to appear more casual and Starbucks-like.
Starbucks hopes to bring back the premium image of its restaurants. The new content portal will start appearing in locations as soon as today. The chain’s free Wi-Fi saw 30 million log-ins in September.
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