In October, the coffee shop chain launched an exclusive network of digital content available to anyone connected to Starbucks in-house wi-fi. This “hand-picked premium content” includes selected free iTunes downloads, exclusive movie clips and more, divided into six channels that feature brands like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Yahoo.
An important element of the Network is that Starbucks now offers totally free Wi-Fi in the US, meaning that the potential audience being exposed to the partner brands is significant.
Today, Marketing Magazine ran a short piece claiming that the chain was planning to make the Digital Network available in the UK, although it was scant on actual details of any timescales or partners for the deal.
Starbucks’ UK press office refused to comment directly on the report when we contacted them today to ask if the Digital Network and free Wi-Fi would be hopping across the pond, simply saying that “We are continuously working with our service providers to enhance our services and explore future opportunities however we don’t have any announcements to make about a Starbucks digital network in the UK at this time.”
Reports like this from industry journals like Marketing Magazine often have some credence to them so it could be that Starbucks is currently in talks with British content brands in order to firm up some alternatives to the likes of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
So, nothing firm to report for now but watch this space.