Soon, you will be able to walk into a Starbucks and know what song is playing, or what song just played if you have either a new iPod Touch or an iPhone. In addition, you will be able to buy the song. This technology comes about due to the wifi thats installed on the new iPod Touch and the iPhone.
Apple’s official page on this is here:
But I along with many others found out about this while “watching” Steve Jobs’s keynote address earlier today on Engadget (over here)
This 2nd to last announcement was quickly dismissed by Engadget on not being a big deal. However, a few of us in the comments section all caught onto what this meant.
Starbucks itself isn’t a big deal here (unless you’re really into Starbucks music, then great). But this technology sure is.
Imagine if other venues… and eventually, every venue.. always broadcasted what was being played to your iPod so that if you wanted, you had the ability to find out what was just being played. No more hearing a song and having to go through a run around to find it – or worse, never finding it.
Whenever that happens, this creates an inefficient market in that you – a potential buyer – cannot make the purchase you want to make, and the seller/artist/publisher, etc. cannot make the sale they want to make. All because an infrastructure for passing along this kind of information doesn’t exist – well, until now.
Prior to this, the only real solution would be for a giant LCD screen to be wherever music was being played which said whats playing, what was just played, etc. But this is a much easier implementation. Whatever the source is that plays the music can broadcast this info too.
I got obsessed with wanting something like this a few months back when I was driving to work and heard something I liked on XM. Usually, XM is good about giving you the title and artist of a song, but because this was a mixtape, only the mixtape info was being shown on my screen which meant run around in trying to find out who was singing what I liked.
I kept thinking then how great it would be if there was a way that I could always know what I just heard – and even better, buy right there.
And another good story, my co-worker and buddy John was telling me about the time that Quintin Tarentino heard a song in Japan that he loved for Kill Bill in a record store, but when he went to ask about buying it, he found out he couldn’t. Someone at the record store offered to write it down, but he knew he’d lose it. So apparently, he had to go through a lot of run around to get this song in his movie. This new innovation sure would make his life a lot easier.
Check out these comments from the Engadget thread. I also brought about my thoughts on how this would affect piracy.
Wiseguy @ Sep 5th 2007 2:10PM
I dont know about you, but the wiFi itunes and the starbucks deal is BIG… this is the start of a change in the ay we buy music. This is HUGE!
netrokid @ Sep 5th 2007 2:14PM
The Starbucks deal is huge- this means additional brick & mortar content distribution for Apple. You can just imagine the future possibilities. This has potential for exclusive content…at real world locations….
Truth @ Sep 5th 2007 2:14PM
“”When you get near a Starbucks a fifth button will come up in the WiFi music store — you may have been in a Starbucks wondering what song is that playing? Now you can buy it with a tap of your finger. And if you just missed it, you can still find it…” Is anyone else underwhelmed by this “feature”?”
What’s wrong with that? Have you never been in a situation where you’ve heard a song but don’t know what it is and want to get hold of it? I know I have! I know a lot of other people who have been in that situation too. Nothing wrong with it at all.
Shahryar @ Sep 5th 2007 2:19PM
I agree… Starbucks itself isn’t the big deal here, but this technology is. If we could figure out what song was playing anywhere and everywhere, that’s a pretty big deal for everyone. And then to be able to buy right there on the spot, that’s an even bigger deal.
I also feel this ease of obtaining music could be something that could help slow down piracy. You hear a song you like, you have the ability to browse right there and buy right there… its only a dollarish.. so, why not?
Chris @ Sep 5th 2007 2:21PM
So has everyone missed the importance of what is being demonstrated with Starbucks? In theory, as more retailers (airports, Wi-Fi Acess places, etc etc) sign on, I could buy a song whenever I hear it? I wonder if it would change the dynamics of business like Internet Radio? Hmmm
netrokid @ Sep 5th 2007 2:22PM
Whether or not you like what’s playing at Starbucks does not change the fact that this is a whole new distribution model.
Boris @ Sep 5th 2007 2:27PM
Your negative comments about the Starbucks deal are inappropriate and wrong-headed. This is an idea which could grow exponentially over the coming years. By the time all iPods go wireless this concept will have spread to retailers and restaurants and bars and nightclubs everywhere. It will be an easy to implement income stream for all kinds of buisnesses, an incentive to create wifi networks, and a whole new avenue for the distribution of music. Show some imagination and foresight!
Chris @ Sep 5th 2007 2:27PM
Yes it is a big deal, dude, because clearly this will migrate beyond Starbucks – then any store
playing music will also be in the music selling business. That’s one of the smart things Apple does,
they create market ecologies in which others can also participate.
Shahryar @ Sep 5th 2007 2:30PM
nope, I’m with you Chris… this is definitely big.. I commented on this a page or two back.
The ability to know what just played anywhere and everywhere, and then buy it on the spot is where the future should be heading and this is the right step in the right direction.
Everytime you hear a song you like but don’t know the name or for whatever reason, don’t have the ability to buy it makes both you lose and the artist, record company, etc. lose as well.
This technology will help stop that, making this market more efficient for both buyer and seller.
rawhead @ Sep 5th 2007 2:35PM
Love all the comments from all the people with limited vision. The Starbucks deal is huge, as several people have been keen enough to point out, not because in and of it self, but because of its potential. What if they integrated something like this at your favorite club? (Ministry of Sound, Pacha, Cielo, etc.) Favorite bar? Restaurant? Cafe? It could change how we buy music. But of course all the nearsighted people can’t see that and just spew shit and whine. You’re same people who thought that the original 1st Gen iPod was shit and doomed to fail.
Wiseguy @ Sep 5th 2007 2:37PM
Guys…. really… I never saw such whiners! This is all good stuff. What did you expect with your iPhone? A price increase? I bought mine a month ago… but you know…. I’ve still love it and can’t wait for more updates from Apple to make it even better. I said it and someone else did too.. the Starbucks deal… very cool and opens the door to buying songs everywhere! The WiFi in the touch is a significant deal and with time will pan out to be the killer feature. I wanted a few things too from the presentation, but I’m excited about what Apple showed and they managed to do something unexpected. Oh… and just think… Lepord is not far behind! Life is good!
Wiseguy @ Sep 5th 2007 2:41PM
Netrokid is right on…. this is a new distribution model and huge in the long run. Just watch… in two to three years… you will be able to listen and purchase songs everywhere. Good move Apple!
Yin @ Sep 5th 2007 2:44PM
Starbucks: Umm… I’m putting it down as a gimmick for now. Maybe if it expands to other store or (OMG) radio stations, then he might have a killer app.