Akamai to provide content delivery for Stabucks iTunes store

No plans yet to expand service to Australian Starbucks.

Akamai is now helping Starbucks customers get some music to go with their double lattes.

Akamai, a Cambridge-based content-delivery network service provider, announced that it will provide hundreds of Starbucks stores with content-delivery servers to help speed up their Wi-Fi iTunes Music Stores. Because Akamai servers will be installed within all participating Starbucks stores, the company says, last-mile connectivity will be reduced to mere feet.

"The iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store and the exclusive 'Now Playing' service in Starbucks locations are a powerful new way for our customers to discover and acquire great new music when and where they are inspired by it," says Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment. "With Akamai-enabled servers in our stores, we are able to ensure the highest-quality music downloads while providing a very personalized music experience for our customers.

Last month, Apple and Starbucks announced that they were collaborating by making Apple's iTunes store a fixture on Starbucks' Wi-Fi Internet service. Apple's iTunes store for Starbucks allows anyone connected to a Starbucks Wi-Fi connection to browse, preview and purchase music from iTunes, whether they use a PC, an iPhone or an iPod touch. Around 600 Starbucks locations began offering the iTunes service earlier this month, and more rollouts are expected by the end of the year.

A Starbucks spokesperson said this promotion is currently exclusive to US stores, and there are no immediate plans to expand the service to international markets, including Australia.

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Brad Reed

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