Akamai will serve as the exclusive content distribution provider in the U.S. for the unique partnership announced last month between Apple and Starbucks. Having Akamai-enabled servers located within participating Starbucks locations provides multiple benefits. First, by serving content from within the Starbucks local area network, last mile access has been reduced to a few feet, dramatically improving end user performance, and eliminating the expense and time-to-market of having to increase connectivity in each store location. Second, Akamai's technology creates a fast and reliable route for the delivery of content from the iTunes Store to Starbucks locations.
"The iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store and the exclusive 'Now Playing' service in Starbucks locations are a powerful new way for our customers to discover and acquire great new music when and where they are inspired by it," said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment. "With Akamai-enabled servers in our stores, we are able to ensure the highest quality music downloads while providing a very personalized music experience for our customers."
"We are excited about our technology relationship with Starbucks," said Paul Sagan, president and CEO, Akamai. "This represents the culmination of extensive planning, and we are honored to join Apple and Starbucks in this major transformation of how people discover new music. Enabling servers within a customer's retail environment with Akamai's technology demonstrates the pervasiveness and agility of our edge architecture."
Apple and Starbucks are offering customers the ability to wirelessly browse, buy and download music from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks locations onto their iPod® touch, iPhone or PC or Mac® running iTunes. When a customer enters a participating Starbucks location, their iTunes-enabled device automatically recognizes the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store using the T-Mobile HotSpot network with no connection fee or network login. Starbucks customers will be able to see the exact songs being played in their store and be able to access any of the millions of songs in the iTunes catalog. November 8, 2007 will mark completion of the second phase of a national roll-out, equipping more than 900 Starbucks in New York, Seattle, and San Francisco with Akamai-enabled servers.