“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,” added Kevin Johnson, president and coo of Starbucks.The coffee company's 150,000 U.S.-based employees will receive a free Spotify Premium subscription and will be able to use Spotify to influence in-store playlists. Those playlists will then be available to stream within the Starbucks app. Spotify users will also be able to gain rewards points for the Starbucks app and will be able to listen to the in-store playlists within the Spotify apps.
It's unclear whether Starbucks will continue its music partnership with Apple's iTunes. The two companies first established a partnership in 2007, allowing iPod users to figure out what was playing in Starbucks stores. Later, the coffee company began giving away free iTunes songs, which can still be accessed within the Starbucks mobile app. In 2011, Starbucks and Apple extended their partnership to the App Store. More recently, the two companies began teaming up for (Product) Red iTunes / Starbucks gift card combinations.
The new partnership will roll out to the U.S. later this year, with Canada and the United Kingdom to follow thereafter.