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Business Week reports that Starbucks entry into the music business hasn’t gone as smoothly as expected – specifically its strategy of opening Hear Music media bars in selected stores that allow customers to burn customized music CDs from a library of more than 150,000 songs while sipping on their lattes.

Consumer interest in the music bars is described as “tepid,” and could at least put a small blemish on the coffee company’s reputation. Analysts note that the blemish isn’t likely to hurt the company’s performance, since, according to Business Week, “annual revenues from the music bars could add up to $120 million at most, or just 3% of the company's $4.5 billion in U.S. retail sales.”

This isn’t to say that all of Starbucks’ music initiatives have gone sour. The new album by a group called Antigone Rising, produced and distributed by the coffee company, has been a success in the same mold as its album by Ray Charles (which ended up being the last new album ever recorded by the legendary singer).
KC's View:
We honestly can’t recall how we felt about the whole Hear Music bar test when Starbucks first announced it, but it occurs to us now that maybe this isn’t such a good idea when the notion of downloading music from the Internet directly onto iPods or MP3 players seems so much more current than burning CDs.

Nothing wrong with going too far and having to take a step back. That’s how you learn…and it makes for a far more interesting retail experience than the store where nothing is ventured out of fear, mediocrity of thought, or lack of innovation.