Starbucks Hears Music

Starbucks continues its foray into the music biz, unveiling two new Hear Music stores that will integrate the classic coffeehouse experience with an extensive digital and physical music inventory.

The first Hear Music Coffeehouse was opened in Santa Monica, Calif., in March 2004. The newest one opened December 19th in San Antonio and another is slated for Miami in early 2006.

The two new locations will carry extensive CD inventories including selections hand-picked by Hear Music execs to appeal to local and regional tastes.

The coffeehouses will also feature media bars that allow customers to digitally sample music and create customized CDs with more than 1 million songs to choose from. The cost to burn a CD is $8.99 for the first seven songs and 99 cents for each additional tune.

“A coffeehouse ambiance plus established and emerging music technologies equal an innovative way for the music industry to connect with consumers,” IDC Consumer Markets’ Susan Kevorkian said.

Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz added that the company “has changed the rules of engagement for the music industry.”