Publishers look to onboard new readers by capitalising on Starbucks’ pilot Wi-Fi program

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
February 04, 2020, 2:22 PM UTC

Starbucks will allow its visitors to read gated content from popular publishers for free on its Wi-Fi network.

Despite most newspapers trying to maintain paywalls on their website content, Starbucks' pilot programme, launched last year, is getting publisher attention. Reputed publishers, including The Wall Street Journal, are now willing to let the coffee chain's customers access their content without any paywalls.

Though Starbucks isn’t paying its participant publishers, the program is a fertile ground to attract new readers. The program can enable publishers to showcase their publications in a setting where they can turn new readers into subscribers.

McClatchy’s Grant Belaire said, “most of the Starbucks visitors tend to be totally new ones,” and these readers haven’t visited their site in the past. But, some publishers are apprehensive as the programme lacks geo-targeting options while driving relatively low traffic.

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