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October 24, 2006


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The choice is always yours Sam. You don't have to buy anything but your tasty beverage everyday. However there are many customers who LOVE the CD'S and books coming to our stores. I enjoy talking with customers about the new partner musician contest. Partners submit music with a chance to win and have their music featured on an upcoming CD. Soon you will be able to hear your favorite baristas on a cd. Way to go!


Agreed on the barista CD idea, that's gold. As for Sam, he's a dick. Sorry to be blunt, but I hate commies.


So at first I had to agree with Sam, but that was for about 13 seconds and then i took a look around and remembered the six guiding prinicples and the sixth states "Recongzie that profiability is essential to our future success." Sam, we are in the people business serving coffee. Furthermore, we as a company need to branch out and think of new ways to gain new customers.

OMG Barista Boi

As a barista, I believe strongly in the quality of the beverages we serve at Starbucks. I'm less thrilled with the Hear Music segment of our business. I'm quite a music fanatic/collector/amateur musician, and most of the music we sell is mainstream pap that I could care less about. Add to that the fact that I have to listen to it over and over when I'm working, and...well, you get the idea.

I was pretty excited when my manager put up the little poster for the barista music contest. Not only was I looking forward to submitting some songs that I've written, but I was also quite excited at the prospect of eventually having an album full of new talent in our store. Sadly though, I soon discovered that I was ineligible to enter the contest as I was not hired prior to January 1st, 2006. (I was hired in early April of this year.)

I'm still bummed out about this. As of the contest deadline, I will have been a partner for a solid seven months. I think this period of time is significant enough to warrant the ability to enter a contest such as this. Are there any other partners out there who are in the same boat as me? Or even just any other partners or customers who agree with me?

P.S. - I've entered my email address and the URL to my music site with this post. Any feedback on these issues is appreciated!


Starbucks would be foolish (from a business sense) not to explore the sale of other items once a customer was in the store. Books, CDs, mugs and the rest are impulse items all strategically placed to entice people when ordering and waiting for their drinks. Some of these items are probably high profit too. CDs of mainstream pap are a logical choice since they (by definition) appeal to most people. the book idea is interesting but I'm not sure how well it will work. If you really want to see how far this idea can go, visit a Cracker Barrel. You have to bushwack through hundreds of "for sale" items just to get to the seating host. Their business model is cheap. plentiful food and expensive nick-nacks.


I had worked for Starbucks for over eight years. During my time there I had seen it change completely... some good and some bad.

All this to say, Starbucks is going to do whatever they want. As a corporation they want and need to make money for their stakeholders. If they need to open their market by offering Music and Books... who cares. They offered books before and it did not do that well. Remeber "Joe Magazine?" The one issue was not a hit.

I personally don't read or listen to Starbucks stuff. I enjoy asking the person who is sitting next to me what they are reading. To each his own.


One thing that I don't remember Sam addressing is what specific age group is targeted with some of the music and book choices. Most college-age students and younger are not going to jump at Mitch Albom's latest book (or any Mitch Albom book), nor are they going to be impressed with that punk/new wave/whatever pseudo-collection disc floating around a couple months ago. The book's target audience is middle-aged, and that particular disc is aimed toward the "bops" who are currently the age 35 and above crowd.


If you want to compare Starbucks & Walmart together, my first thought was "WTF!"... Starbucks is customer service based... the other is "you grab ur stuff & we'll take ur money"... But in another way, Starbucks is comparable to Walmart in the way you don't have to buy everything you see... so why don't u just pick what you wana buy (ex. coffee) & just get that rather than rambling on how Starbucks shouldn't sell this & that...


Not sure this is entirely relevent, but surprised that the webmaster didn't mention it.


This links to the recent NY Times article about Starbucks.


LG -- You apparently didn't read the site. The story was posted here on Saturday.


I think that the hearmusic satellite division of Starbucks is incredibly in tune...kind of. Ok, John Legend, he's got crossover appeal and some nice songs that old folk can listen to (and think they're cool). Amos Lee, spot on...if only that had promoted it. I started telling customers about it and women 35-45 came back telling me it was AMAZING and that they want all of their music to be like that.

Beck? Now, I love beck, and most of the mid 20's who now have money just to throw out when they go, "oh wow, new Beck CD!" will probably do the same but...yeah. Most people just ask me who he is.

The rest of the choices fall in perfect line, Norah Jones, Madeline Peryroux, Sheryl Crow, dare I say it...Antigone? I had so many middle aged men tell me they loved that cd...it's ridiculous.

Market wise, they're generally pretty savvy. Soccer moms, well paid dads and kids who grew up on Starbucks, bada bing, you got your target market hit.

I don't see Wal-Mart being quite that savvy (and they did try, Metro-7? Announced today that it was an awful decision on Wal-Mart's part, look it up).


Indeed, Madeleine Peyroux, Corinne Bailey Rae, Sonya Kitchell and Antigone Rising have all sold *really* well at my Starbucks. As in, by my estimation, we are the #1 seller of CDs in the town I live in, and that's with actual stores that *just* sell CDs, DVDs etc.

It all depends on the market, just like our drinks.


Whoops! Sorry Webmaster! Not sure how I missed that one...

James Collins

Sam Feldman said -- But when Starbucks begins to offer us our reading and listening, I fear the chilling effect it could have on less than mass-market ideas.

Um...I hate to break it you Sam, but the world is full of people recommending things. Newspapers recommends books and music, magazines like Rolling Stone recommend books and music, blogs recommend books and music, ads on the sides of buses recommend books and music etc. Starbucks' recommending books and music is no different. It's called free speech. It's called a market economy.

Nobody is holding a gun to your head to force you to buy anything at Starbucks. If you feel that they offend your non-mass-market sensibilities, then get your coffee at Dunkin' Donuts.

So I have to ask, what in the world are you talking about? It makes no sense at all.


how does one submit music to starbucks for consideration?


does anyone know about the partner music contest? It seems nobody has any answers and starbucks just gave me an email address. Are they really picking semifinalists or was this a botched venture?

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