Starbucks Bucks Trend to Pull Plug on Wi Fi

Posted on August 23, 2010

Pitty the poor coffee house on Main Street.  His “regulars” come days with their laptops, hog tables and nurse a cup of plain coffee – hold the pastry.  Many bloggers run their businesses out of such coffee houses.

Many coffee houses have either pulled the plug or limited wi fi time per customer and requiring customers to get a password for access at the counter. Still other java stations have limited wi fi access to off-peak hours such as the hours after lunch and before dinner.

Starbucks thinks it has a better way. 

Why Wi-Fi is good for business

Starbucks used to offer limited free Wi-Fi to people who used Starbucks cards. But the company recently announced totally free and unlimited Wi-Fi for all customers.

The move was the first stage in an aggressive new strategy to offer branded content through what they call the Starbucks Digital Network. Starbucks will soon offer customers free access to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA Today. It will also lure customers with free Apple iTunes downloads, Zagat restaurant reviews, a “Wellness Channel” about health and lots of other content. (I wonder if the “Wellness Channel” will warn readers about the most immediate threat to their health: fatty, sugary Starbucks products.)

No, it’s not some sinister plot. The purpose of all this free content is to upsell customers into subscriptions, of which Starbucks will take a percentage. It’s a win-win for Starbucks, which can lure customers with free content, then gain extra revenue from subscription sales. And it’s a win for content providers that need to caffeinate tired subscription revenues. []

Here’s hoping that your coffee source is generous in its connectvity.

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