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“Americano to stay, and 30 minutes on iTunes, please!”

Wired Magazine report Apple’s announcement that they’re going to be setting up 6000 Starbucks Coffee Shops as wi-fi retail iTunes stores. This seems an important move for Apple, gaining them real-life retail square footage. The real-life aspect of this is key: it’s helping bridge the digital divide that currently means iPod customers with broadband-less or computer-less environments can’t access the iTunes store. Now they can (for a small pay-per-go fee I’m sure…) – at certain Starbucks. The size of the media servers and speed of the service will be essential to success, but as the Wired article suggests: if a customer can download video/lots of music tracks ten times faster in Starbucks than they can at home, then they’ll be queueing up for those Americanos – to stay. This should boost the confidence of arts organisations thinking of digitising content for sale by download, or considering pod/vod casting – the cappu-rati can certainly be considered as existing and potential arts audiences.
This article first appeared in Hannah Rudman’s blog 7th September 2007.