Starbucks' Vision for Digital Network Comes to Fruition: Launches in 6,800 Company Stores
"Our customers are the inspiration for the Starbucks Digital Network. They've told us they want to be the first to know what's happening in their neighborhoods and around the globe, to have an easy way to discover new music, great books and important films and find ways to be more involved in their communities. And they're connecting with the brand digitally in numerous ways," says Stephen Gillett, Starbucks executive vice president, chief information officer and Digital Ventures general manager. "These points combined with our passion for creating a unique customer experience, our heritage of recommending culturally-relevant works and focus on giving back to the community, led us to create this new, one-of-a-kind, localized content experience with Yahoo!."
Designed to deliver a new, enhanced in-store experience for customers, the Starbucks Digital Network's hand-picked premium content spans six channels: News, Entertainment, Wellness, Business & Careers, My Neighborhood and Starbucks. Newly signed content providers include Bookish Reading Club, Foursquare, GOOD, LinkedIn, New Word City and The Weather Channel.
Launch week kicks off with a trio of exclusive offers on the Starbucks Digital Network's Entertainment channel including free music tracks, a movie clip with charitable ties and a novel sneak preview. Straight from iTunes, customers get exclusive free access to two songs and a video from new band Fistful of Mercy featuring Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison. Movie fans can enjoy a special clip from the Paramount Vantage film, "Waiting for Superman'." Every customer who buys a ticket for the film will receive a $15 DonorsChoose.org credit to use in support of a classroom project in his or her community.
Rounding out the trio is an extensive excerpt from "Rescue", the new upcoming novel by best-selling and acclaimed author of 10 New York Times bestsellers, Anita Shreve. Available from Hachette Book Group, only Starbucks Digital Network customers get an exclusive sneak peek of "Rescue" before it hits shelves on Nov. 30.
Created to inform and entertain as well as connect customers with what matters to them, the Starbucks Digital Network has a team of editors who selects the content appearing on the network. Whether customers have a few minutes or an hour, the Starbucks Digital Network offering is designed with snackable content in mind, so it's easy to explore the six channels and discover the most relevant news and information. Following is a breakdown of the channels and content providers:
"What you see today, is only the beginning," says Adam Brotman, Starbucks Digital Ventures vice president. "Expect more localized content and community features in the future, more ways to personalize your experience, new ways to be rewarded and an ever-growing collection of premium content. We look forward to hearing from our customers as those ideas will contribute to how the Starbucks Digital Networks continues to grow."
On the landing page header, customers can check-into Foursquare, see their My Starbucks Rewards status when logged in and even get the local weather. The Weather Channel will provide the most up-to-date local weather conditions including the actual temperature, "feels like" temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, visibility, the 36-hour forecast, and the regional Doppler radar map for each U.S. Starbucks. In addition, there is 1-click access to the hourly forecast, the 10-day forecast, animated radar maps, and the interactive maps available on weather.com, all optimized for display on the customer's device.
Customers can access a social media dashboard on the footer of the landing page featuring Starbucks four main social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, My Starbucks Idea and YouTube.
Yahoo! is also integrating several marquee products into the digital network to deliver unique content. Yahoo! Search will provide search capabilities across the platform allowing customers to explore whatever and whoever interests them. Flickr, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! News are also available for customers who are interested in social-sharing and receiving breaking news.
Powered by Starbucks Wi-Fi infrastructure, the digital network is only accessible when a customer is connected to free Wi-Fi at a company-operated Starbucks. To develop the network, Starbucks selected Yahoo! to build, manage and host the Starbucks Digital Network because of Yahoo!'s 15 years of experience and deep expertise in developing compelling digital platforms. The platform was designed so customers could access the digital network through their favorite devices whether that is on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Between the employment of HTML5, touch- and swipe-friendly visual design elements, and adjustable navigation, the site was developed to be easily used on the most popular mobile platforms and touch screen tablets, including the iPhone and iPad. It was important to optimize the experience for mobile devices because more than half of Starbucks customers are connecting to free Wi-Fi on their mobile phones. In addition, for customers with iPhones and the myStarbucks App, the open app will recognize the customer when in store and offer an automatic connection to the Starbucks Digital Network.
The network went live in nearly 6,800 U.S. company-operated Starbucks on Oct. 20.
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