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YOU WANT A STREAM WITH THAT LATTE?

Yesterday, Starbucks announced a deal to work with Spotify to produce playlists for its stores. The deal, which comes two months after Starbucks stopped selling CDs in its stores, will give the streaming service valuable exposure at Starbucks’ 7,000+ domestic locations just as it girds itself to face perhaps its biggest challenge yet from Apple Music.

The partnership, slated to kick off this fall, will let Starbucks employees and customers pick the songs played in the stores. Those playlists will then be available to stream within the Starbucks mobile app, which has been downloaded by 16m people in the U.S. As part of the program, about 150k Starbucks employees will get comp subscriptions to Spotify’s premium service, beginning this summer. Spotify users will also be able to gain rewards points for the Starbucks app.

 “We’re really making the barista the DJ here,” Daniel Ek quipped (!) in a conference call.

“By connecting Spotify’s world-class streaming platform into our world-class store and digital ecosystem, we are reinventing the way our millions of global customers discover music,” Starbucks Chief Executive Barista Howard Schultz said in a statement.

Added President/COO Kevin Johnson, “We plan on building one of the most robust digital ecosystems of any retailer in the world. Given the evolution of the music industry and the proliferation of streaming technology, it was natural that we would partner with Spotify in offering our customers a new way to engage with their favorite music, whether their thirst is Tall, Grande, Venti or Trenta.”

It's unclear whether Starbucks will continue its eight-year-old partnership with iTunes, but free iTunes downloads can still be accessed within the Starbucks app. More recently, the two companies partnered on (Product) Red iTunes/Starbucks gift-card combos. 

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