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The Los Angeles Times reports that Starbucks is preparing to launch a new digital network that will serve as a landing page/portal for customers who access the internet while in its stores; the coffee retailer has established relationships with a number of media companies - including the New York Times, USA Today, Rodale, Zagat, Yahoo, and Nickelodeon - to provide content for the Starbucks Digital Network.

In addition, the Times writes, “If customers opt to stay on Starbucks' home page, they'll have access to things such as free iTunes downloads and content on paid sites such as the Wall Street Journal. There’s also an optional ‘sign in’ to the MyStarbucks account, a Yahoo search box and six channels of topics - news, entertainment, wellness, business and career, my neighborhood, Starbucks - based on localized content for that store’s neighborhood.”
KC's View:
Man, it wasn’t that long ago that Starbucks didn’t even offer free Wi-Fi access...and now it is getting ready to offer all sorts of free and localized content. (I love the localized nature of this, by the will be a great way for a globalized behemoth to create a little local street cred.)