Starbucks and Spotify recently announced a partnership, in an effort to allow the coffee shop’s customers to easily engage with the music being played.
They aim to achieve this via app integration. Users will be able to like and add music to their own playlists, from within the Starbucks app. This will help Starbucks curate longer playlists, adapting to the listening habits of their customers, and even create a more personalised feel within stores. After all, the listening habits of shoppers may differ between London and New York!
This leads to artists/labels trying to promote their music in-store, as it would grant access to the millions of customers that walk through Starbucks’ doors every day. When asked regarding the efforts of labels, Gina Woods (VP for entertainment at Starbucks) told Billboard that “We’re very neutral… they’ve never lobbied us… we want them to share the music they have, and we select it. That relationship will continue.”
Now, whilst this seems to be a hindrance for many promoters as Starbucks will ultimately have their way, I don’t think it has to be. I see this partnership as an opportunity for app integration to skyrocket.
Earlier this year, we saw Uber launch integration within Facebook’s Messenger app, and it was only the tip of the iceberg, with Facebook announcing they already have plans for other companies to integrate within the 700 million user app.
And even whilst writing this article, Facebook have announced a new feature to their iOS app called ‘Sports Stadium’. Offering play-by-play updates, like the BBC or ESPN offer, but the ability to interact with other users like on usual Facebook posts could keep people inside the app and may become the preferred method of communication for many users. With Facebook trying to steal the top spot for ‘Live Debate’ from Twitter – indisputably the King, until now – could we see all social apps heading in this direction?
With this trend starting to pick up pace, I can see some apps evolving more into social hubs and eclipsing what is traditionally known as an app. In-app interactivity, with social events, your location, your music taste, and much more are becoming more and more accessible from within one app could essentially become a digital profile, that you didn’t even mean to sign up for. Not to get too technical, but there is also a chance as the Internet of Things evolves, so will the OS of mobiles and wearable technology – to keep you connected like I just mentioned with the apps.
Promotions, as such, may not be revolutionised in this transition – with conventional methods such as rewards systems likely to be the most relevant, especially at early doors.
But can you imagine, using Nest to measure how eco-friendly you were being at home; to be rewarded at your next shop on Amazon? The opportunities for promotions to be applied are, potentially, limitless.
Nest’s latest thermostat not only can be controlled remotely by mobile,
but also provides feedback on energy use, humidity, light, activity and more.
So what do you think? If promotional campaigns stay on the pulse of technology, could they use them to their advantage? I think most definitely, with personalised, direct marketing becoming more and more important as the technology evolves.