I got an email early this morning from Starbucks, announcing that I could now take the sounds of my nearest coffeehouse on the road with me, thanks to the company’s newly-inked partnership with Spotify. As a devotee of Starbucks and an avid Spotify listener, this update means I have one more avenue in which to binge on Norah Jones albums. Another Venti Frappucino while I Don’t Know Why on my way home? Don’t mind if I do!
But Spotify’s move from home to cafe doesn’t stop there. The streaming music service also has a partnership with Uber, allowing riders to control the tunes from the backseat of their hired Camry. I’m not sure if the Uber driver of a given ride has a say in the process, like whether a rider/backseat DJ can choose say, early Ke$ha or her later stuff, but it’s still a neat feature.
The three-way partnership continues, thanks to Uber’s integration into the Starbucks app, allowing caffeine lovers to hail a Towncar to their nearest cafe. (Although Starbucks did also recently partner with Lyft, as well).
Granted, in New York, it’s a bit of a superfluous service. As I wrote when the feature first rolled out:
There are, on average, six caffeinated mermaid-themed coffeehouses for every one of New York’s 33.7 square miles, negating the need to ever take a cab to Starbucks. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I drove to the Starbucks on West 17th?” Of course you haven’t. Partially because there isn’t one, and partially because there are other outposts on 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 19th. Part of Starbucks’s business model – and one of its criticisms – is its ubiquity, and the fact that one need never take a cab from their home to the nearest ‘bux.
I think that this ubiquity factor is in play in the Starbucks and Spotify partnership, as well. Starbucks wants to be the default way to get your coffee, and it also wants to revitalize its affiliation with music. Spotify wants to become the default way for people to listen to music, and its partnership with Starbucks seeks to supplant the memories – perhaps nostalgic, at this point – of buying CDs at the register before paying for one’s coffee. And Uber, which has partnerships with both, wants to become the coolest, most-connected taxi and logistics network out there, no matter who chooses the Beatles music.