Starbucks’s New Network

Posted by: Nicole Sternhagen

Even for someone sworn off drinking coffee, Starbuck’s new Digital Network is something I have to try.

 As of Wednesday, October 20th, Starbucks now has up and running the lastest in the customer experience market: the Starbucks Digital Network. The SDN is a content network exclusively designed in partnership with Yahoo just for users of Starbucks Wi Fi.

Vice President of Digital Ventures Adam Brotman described SDN as a “digital corkboard” for the community, much like the real one in the stores.

The network has six channels: News, Entertainment, Wellness, Business and Careers, My Neighborhood and a customer-personalized Starbucks channel.  Each has their own free features such as access to the online versions of the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA Today. Exclusive content from Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, and many other popular health go-tos is available under the wellness channel. For the business channel, popular professional networking site LinkedIn is providing exclusive video and blog content for Starbucks customers accessing the Wi Fi.

 If that’s not enough to get you on the site, you can also get exclusive iTunes downloads, check out all the surrounding restaurants with unlimited access to Zagat reviews and ratings, and access e-books and documentaries picked out by Starbucks.

The only problem? Information overload. The Starbucks Digital Network (SDN) has so many cool features available that you just may get overwhelmed and not know where to start. However, for the regular Starbucks customer, there will be plenty of time to explore all that the SDN has to offer.

What is Starbucks getting out of SDN? Since the partners involved are not paying for placement, this move is purely to drive more people to choose Starbucks over other coffee retailers. To me, this seems like an awful lot of work for an already extremely successful chain; but hey, who doesn’t want free perks?

 Will it be enough to win die-hard fans of Caribou or Smokey Row? Would you switch to try out the newest way to enjoy coffee? If you are already a frequent visitor to Starbucks will this impact your experience/are you excited to try it?

 Personally, for me, it was the free books that cinched the deal.

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2 responses to “Starbucks’s New Network

  1. I applaud this move by Starbucks. Personally, I think all coffee shops/small cafes should have free WiFi access. If I’m going to bring homework, drink coffee and chill for a few hours, I’m going to need some Internet. Starbucks got into some trouble a few years ago when only AT&T customers received free WiFi. I think their fan base only grow from here.

  2. Yes – I think they will benefit a lot – as long as people don’t take advantage by lingering too long and taking up space!

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