Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Starbucks' selling music - an accidental innovation

From a 2004 article in Fortune:

As crazy as it sounds, music has become one of Starbucks' zingiest brand extensions. [But it happened more or less by accident.] Music at Starbucks began when a store manager named Timothy Jones made tapes for his store, which proved so popular that the company licensed compilations for sale. "I had to get talked into this one," says Schultz. "But then I began to understand that our customers looked to Starbucks as a kind of editor. It was like, 'We trust you. Help us choose.'" In 1999, Schultz bought Hear Music of Cambridge, Mass., run by Don MacKinnon, who was putting together albums of cool music, both old and new, that wasn't getting played on the radio. Since then Hear has released about 100 albums and sold about five million CDs, including the Artist Choice series, in which performers like the Rolling Stones and Ray Charles pick their favorite tracks by other artists.


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