Among the beneficiaries of the iPad’s success is Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. He is perhaps an unlikely winner considering that, in 2010 at least, coffee can’t be consumed over an electronic interface. However, Starbucks is the largest wifi network in North America, with some 30 million users logging on each week in Starbucks outlets. At first, says Schultz, these customers “were mostly synching their emails. Then people began coming to our stores and looking for content.”
Schultz saw an opportunity. Earlier this week, the company launched what they are calling the Starbucks Digital Network. Customers who bring their iPads to one of Schultz’s coffee houses will be able to access “free premium content” from a number of sources such as The New York Times and health giant Rodale, publisher of Runner’s World and Prevention. What does this mean? Without acquiring any more real estate, or nailing together a single shelf, Starbucks is in the act of becoming the country’s largest newsstand.
via World Future Society.