Branded playlists are of debatable value, we had a quick look at this back in December, but as the music streaming services look for more partnerships to swell their coffers it makes sense for them to see if they can get a competitive advantage through bricks and mortar retailers. Pandora has just announced a partnership with Peet’s Coffee and Tea to provide them with a collection of playlists curated by Peet’s own music guru, Patrick Main. There is no talk of cash having changed hands and the playlists will not feature advertising so where is the value for Pandora. Well in exchange for providing music to Peet’s clientele Pandora will be receiving in-store physical advertising.
Either Pandora are having a go at taking on the big in-store radio companies or they feel that Peet’s offers them an experiential marketing opportunity that the competition has not picked up on yet. Marketing music is not something new to the coffee shop industry. Starbucks experimented with being a record label and retailer through its Hear Music project and Caffe Nero has a thing for launching new artists by offering them a variety of marketing opportunities including in-store live performances. The success of these programs is mixed, Hear Music is gone but Caffe Nero’s music activities continue.
There seems to be a massive irony about music streaming services looking to old fashioned retailers to provide access to consumers. With record stores all but gone from the high street, music needs to find ways to deliver its experience and with coffee shops everywhere it seems logical to target their customers. Maybe Spotify should partner with Santander and create some playlists for the ATMs, they sould offer subscriptions with every balance check.