- Starbucks will provide complimentary digital news from seven major publications for a limited time, according to a company blog post.
- Those publications include The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and New York Daily News. Additionally, through the company's partnership with The Wall Street Journal, special subscription levels will be offered for both print and digital subscribers.
- These digital publications will be available through its free in-store Wi-Fi.
The company said this offering is part of its vision to be a "unique and sought out destination complemented by elevated digital relationships with customers," and giving free access to three of the top 10 largest newspapers in the U.S. is a good way to start.
Starbucks has long committed to creating a "third place" environment (and even has a third place policy) and has done so by creating a coffeehouse-inspired space with free Wi-Fi and outlets at every seat. This move is another step toward that objective.
The offer comes on the heels of the company's announcement in July that it will stop selling newspapers across its 8,600 U.S. locations. At the time of that announcement, a Wall Street Journal spokesperson told the New York Times it was discussing other ways Starbucks customers could access to the publication, which makes sense as to why it is one of the initial partners for this limited-time deal.
By removing its print publications and replacing many of them with free digital access, Starbucks is also walking the walk when it comes to prioritizing sustainability, something it has invested in across all facets of its business since its beginning.
Whether or not this offer pulls customers away from other restaurant brands that offer free Wi-Fi is yet to be seen. The Wall Street Journal alone has 1.5 million digital subscribers and this could provide a big incentive for them to seek out Starbucks for their news moving forward.