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“The Sound of Starbucks” brings coffee-lovers Spotify integration

Starbucks and Spotify have teamed up to create a feature that lets users quickly identify, catalog, and "love" new music.

Published onJanuary 19, 2016


Today Starbucks unveiled an interesting partnership with Spotify in tandem with an update to their popular Starbucks app. The new relationship fostered the development of a feature the king of coffee added to their app that allows users to quickly identify songs currently playing on the overhead curated playlist.

As someone who spends quite a bit of time in coffee shops, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered that I like the song that’s playing too late to identify it with my smartphone. It’s as though the music overhears me say “Okay Google, what’s this song?” and spitefully decides to immediately begin the fade out. The ability to look back over recently played songs is a welcome addition.

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For those not in the know, the Starbucks app is primarily for line-skipping. You can add a balance to the app and then order coffee with a few taps, enabling you to stay at your laptop instead of waiting to place your order at the register. You can also the gift of caffeine to others through the app and collect rewards for using it. “The Sound of Starbucks” is a nice addition to an already decent app.


This clever bit of functionality looks like it serves a handful of goals. On the one hand, yeah the benefit to the user is evident. However, Starbucks and Spotify have also added the ability for users to “love” specific songs. Potentially, this could give them the feedback they need to build data about their customers’ music preferences and adapt their lists accordingly. Moreover, the coffee chain’s widespread appeal may bring Spotify a fair number of new users.

What do you think of “The Sound of Starbucks?” Pointless window-dressing or a legitimately useful feature? Give it a spin by clicking the button below to get it from the Google Play Store, and let us know your opinion in the comments!

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