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Starbucks Offering Free iOS App (Each Week?)

By - Source: CNET | B 9 comments

Starbucks is adding iOS apps to its "Pick of the Week" program, but it's unknown whether these free apps will replace or be available an addition to the current free music track offering.

Since April 2008, Apple and Starbucks have served up free music tracks each week as a reward for purchasing a drink or snack in over 11,000 Starbucks locations nationwide. Loyal patrons typically receive a "Pick of the Week" card with a code that "unlocks" a specific downloadable track from iTunes. Now there are reports that the duo are throwing free iOS apps into the mix as well.

According to reports, Starbucks will now be offering a free iOS app to those who come in and puchase a drink or snack. As with the music track offering, patrons will be given a card with a code on the back that "unlocks" a specific app from the App Store. To start things off right, Apple has authorized the $5.99 Shazam Encore app (iTunes) as the first free offering (seen right).

So far there's no indication that this Pick of the Week program for iOS apps will replace or simply join the current music track of the week offering. There's also no indication that customers have a choice of either the track or app if both are provided: will Starbucks offer both simultaneously so that patrons can decide between the two, or will it offer a free app one week and a free app during the next week?

Distributing free apps to Starbucks customers is rather surprising news for Apple. Most of the time, iOS apps are bit pricier than the standard $1.29 music track purchased from iTunes. But it's highly unlikely that the new Starbucks program has anything to do with Amazon's Free App of the Day on the Android Appstore... although Amazon did make the Shazam Encore app available free for a day in recent months.

CNET reports that both Starbucks and Apple declined to comment. There's also no indication if Shazam Entertainment will lose any revenue due to its app being offered free for a week, or if Apple will provide the developer with some type of compensation during the promotion. Unfortunately, there's also no indication that the free iOS apps will be available in Starbucks stores outside the United States.

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  • -1 Hide
    jackbling , August 16, 2011 8:21 PM
    I would say this is a direct answer to the amazon offering....i find it hard to believe apple would have been moving forward to independently set a standard for giving away something they could sell.
  • 1 Hide
    liveonc , August 16, 2011 8:34 PM
    & you would've thought that it was a reason to go to Starbucks if you didn't like the coffee, but McDonalds could offer a virtual gift for that Happy Meal to all the kids who have a Smartphone & would like to play Angry McBirds...
  • 4 Hide
    drwho1 , August 16, 2011 9:10 PM
    They should just lower the price of their over priced coffee
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    SneakySnake , August 16, 2011 10:25 PM
    jackblingI would say this is a direct answer to the amazon offering....i find it hard to believe apple would have been moving forward to independently set a standard for giving away something they could sell.

    ?? they've been doing it for years with iTunes track of the week as the article pointed out.
  • 0 Hide
    extremepcs , August 16, 2011 11:03 PM
    I'm still not going to pay $5 for a cup of coffee. I guess Apple users are used to over paying for stuff though, so this is a good match.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , August 17, 2011 9:30 AM
    Considering that they overcharge for everything, an app is a decent offer.
  • 0 Hide
    rosen380 , August 17, 2011 2:16 PM
    As far as the developer goes-- they're probably agreeing to it. Developers put their apps on sale [or for free] for a limited time alot. They give it away for a week, more people use it, they move up the 'top seller' charts a bit and perhaps ultimately make up for it later.

    Maybe they also have some in app purchases that they figure can also help make the money up?

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 17, 2011 7:08 PM
    a cup of coffee at starbucks is $1.61 actually, jackfools :)  $5 price is for people who want an extra-large dessert drink.
  • 0 Hide
    virthddman , August 19, 2011 12:40 AM
    Starbucks has been giving away iTunes music for years, the iOS apps are a nice addition.

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