Hey, it worked for Pepsi. I think. AP reports:
Starbucks Corp. plans to give away 50 million free digital songs to customers in all of its domestic coffee houses to promote a new wireless iTunes music service that's about to debut in select markets.
From Oct. 2 to Nov. 7, baristas in the company's more than 10,000 U.S. stores will hand out about 1.5 million "Song of the Day" cards each day. The cards can be redeemed at Apple Inc.'s online iTunes Store.
Thirty-seven artists with featured songs include Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell -- the first two to sign on with Starbucks' Hear Music label -- along with Joss Stone, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Annie Lennox and Band of Horses.
The first song will be Bob Dylan's "Joker Man."
Also on Oct. 2, Starbucks will start selling iTunes digital release cards that allow a full album of music and bonus material to be downloaded online. KT Tunstall's "Drastic Fantastic" and the soundtrack to the film "Into the Wild" with new music from Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder will be the first two featured albums, retailing for $14.99 and $11.99, respectively.
Starbucks also will offer a limited-edition reloadable purchasing card that includes two free iTunes downloads when customers register their cards online.
It's hard to get excited about something like this. I guess if you're already getting fleeced at Starbucks, getting a free song or two is a nice incentive to keep it up. Not a game changer, obviously.