Starbucks Corp. plans to give away 50 million free digital songs to customers in all of its domestic coffee houses to promote a new wireless iTunes music service that’s about to debut in select markets.From Oct. 2 to Nov. 7, baristas in the company’s more than 10,000 U.S. stores will hand out about 1.5 million “Song of the Day” cards each day. The cards can be redeemed at Apple Inc.’s online iTunes Store.
Thirty-seven artists with featured songs include Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell — the first two to sign on with Starbucks’ Hear Music label — along with Joss Stone, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Annie Lennox and Band of Horses. The first song will be Bob Dylan’s “Joker Man.”
Earlier this month, Starbucks and Apple announced a partnership that will allow users of Apple’s iPhone and new iPod Touch to download songs playing in a Starbucks shop directly to their portable devices.
The coffee chain’s icon will light up on the iPhone or Touch whenever a user is within range of a Starbucks shop’s Wi-Fi signal. People with the devices — or a laptop with iTunes software — will also be able to use the signal for free to browse and buy other iTunes music.
The service will launch at 600 Starbucks shops in Seattle and New York on Oct. 2, then roll out in San Francisco in early November. [24×7]
SEOmoz Goes for the Gold!
Rand Fishkin believes in transparency. He runs his company, SEOmoz, like he does his blog, publicly.
A few months ago he hired SEM consultant Andy Beal to advise on the growth of the business. Rand reported Beal’s findings and recommendations to his audience of SEO enthusiasts and commentators. He also asked this blogging community whether he should accept outside investment in his agency.
Reactions were mixed, but Rand appears to have squarely connected with two VC firms — Ignition Partners and Curious Office. Today he announced an investment of $1.25 million in his firm. Rand also disclosed that he has invited Zillow’s Vanessa Fox to join his board of directors.
SEOmoz is now on a mission to add products and services that add value to search marketing, right here in the Emerald City. As Rand puts it, “We literally have a hundred different ideas for tools, search analytics, tracking, guides, [and] resources.” Clearly, Rand also wants to get into the training end of the business as well. Will all of that amount to the earnings multiples that will impress his new VC partners in terms of ROI? Only time will tell.
With this new beginning , Rand also sees a potential ending. He writes, “…When we decided to accept this money, we took a step in a direction that will probably end with the sale of SEOmoz (as we’re most likely not a target to go public). I think that this is one of the other big fears that members and commenters had – and I can completely empathize. However, I will say this – I’m in this for the long haul, and even though SEOmoz may, in 4-7 years, be part of another company, I’m going to do my damndest to make sure that all the great things about us get preserved.” [24×7]