Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Venti Soy Mocha Latte, With an App on the Side

The last time that the two gargantuan companies Starbucks and Apple teamed up, they gave us “Pick of the Week” where coffee drinkers would obtain a card at their local Starbucks and receive a free song on Apple iTunes. The new promotion will be much in the same fashion, with java junkies being rewarded with a card to download a free app.

The first giveaway is Shazam Encore, an ad-free version of the popular Shazam music identifying app. Shazam Encore sells for $5.99, so these "Pick of the Week" cards available to Starbucks customers are more valuable than the single-track downloads that are typically made available.

Ideally Starbucks will keep these weekly picks coming. It would be a win-win as app developers would receive some welcome publicity, and Starbucks should benefit from an increase in foot traffic.

As smartphone owners grow in number, real-world chains have every right to worry. Barcode-scanning app sand easy access to comparison shopping sites make it easy for in-store patrons to make sure that they're getting the lowest prices possible. Since retailers can't get smartphone owners to turn off their devices the way air carriers do, they may as well engage them.

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