Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Starbucks Moving Content Unit (yes..."Content Unit)

(via Paid Content)

The lines, they are a'blurring...Starbucks is planning on moving its content unit down to LA (from Seattle). The content unit, evidently, will benefit from being closer geographically to the studios and record labels. I think they'll also benefit from being closer philosophically to those companies. Last year, Yahoo! opened up a content division down in LA, and its presence very clearly communicated a level of committment to blending what they do with what Hollywood does. It's an old story, right? Go to Hollywood and get discovered...they won't come to you.

The move, therefore, definitely speaks back to what is becoming a recurring theme: the dual-purposing of a product distribution channel as a media distibution channel. Already we've got the Starbucks retail store devoting some shelfspace to CDs. They've experimented (unsuccessfully) with magazines. But clearly they understand the cross-over of their product and media. After all: theirs is a product that is designed to be enjoyed slowly and thoughtfully.

So: when will the trend go bigger? Ever? Clearly music labels marketing departments are thinking about Starbucks in a similar way to how they think about Rolling Stone. We'll need to watch the annual reports from Starbucks to see how revenue from advertising grows. Hey...it worked for Google, right?
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