One of the more dismissed iPod features announced recently is the one that allows users to instantly find out what song is playing in a Starbucks and then buy the song on the spot if they so choose. At first glance it’s easy to dismiss this as something you’ll never use but I believe this will lead into something bigger.
Although I would tend to agree that teaming with Starbucks is a bit of a yawn you can’t deny that the idea is great. How many times have you been somewhere, heard a song and wished you knew the name of the song or artist? Now imagine if more places teamed up with Apple to make this a reality. The local gym, mall food court or what have you could be setup with similar equipment to what Starbucks is putting in to place. Or, how about a small band playing at a venue making album sales while performing?
Since Starbucks is a place that benefits simply because it is the kind of place a person can order a drink and listen to music, I imagine Apple would need to build in some kind of incentive for other businesses to get involved. Someway for the company to pay for the equipment needed to run the service.
The real benefit, for Apple anyway, is that the chance for an impulse buy goes up substantially because the customer can buy the song right away, they don’t have to try to remember the song and buy it later. This will undoubtedly lead to increased music sales for Apple and even though we’ve always been told iTMS exists to sell more iPods one has to think Apple makes something on music sales. With an increase in sales volume iTMS will become more of a money maker than it is today.