Beginning today, August 23rd, Starbucks is expanding its Apple iTunes Pick of the Week cards program, adding giveaways of apps, TV shows and extended samples of e-books to the mix of free music and music video downloads it has been offering in the program since 2008.
Free Pick of the Week cards available in all U.S. company-owned Starbucks stores, and some licensed stores, are like iTunes gift cards. They contain printed codes that can be redeemed at the iTunes Store (or iBookstore) for only the content featured on the card. As the title implies, a new card is issued each week.
The first app to be offered is Shazam Encore for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, which normally sells for $5.99. It's a song identifier that "tags" music at the push of an on-screen button: listening to what's playing nearby and then displaying the song and artist names, lyrics scrolled in time with the music, tour information for the artist, recommendations of similar music and more, without advertisements. It also ties in to Pandora and last.fm, allowing stations to be created in those apps using tagged songs, and to Spotify, for playing the full tracks of tagged and recommended songs in that app.
Shazam Encore is an upgraded version of the normally free Shazam app, which limits users to five tags per month, contains ads and offers fewer features––such as no Pandora, last.fm and Spotify tie-ins.
Next Tuesday, August 30th, the Starbucks Pick of the Week app will be SPY mouse, a game from Firemint and Electronic Arts.
Music and music videos featured in the Pick of the Week cards program are also available for playing or downloading via the Starbucks Digital Network, an online venue produced in partnership with Yahoo!, which offers tailored content that is accessible only in the company's stores while logged in to the Starbucks Wi-Fi network. However, the apps, TV shows and e-book samples will not be available through the Starbucks Digital Network, a Starbucks spokeswoman says.