Starbucks Music | Spotify

Reinvent the way customers discover music at Starbucks.

In partnership with Spotify, we created a way for Starbucks customers to see what’s playing in the store they're at, save songs they’ve heard to their own playlist in Spotify, and add songs they love to their favorite songs to influence the music that’s played in Starbucks.

Evolving Discovery

Starbucks is well known for the role that music plays in creating an atmosphere in their stores, but the archaic system wasn’t keeping up with the means of discovery. Historically, Starbucks employees pressed play on curated complication CDs to power the sound of the cafés. The constraint of the technology meant that looping store playlists became tired quickly and customers didn’t have an easy way to find out who the artist was if they heard a song they liked. Store staff were often too busy making drink orders to look up what artist was playing.

To solve for this, we designed a new Music section of the Starbucks app that allowed customers to take the songs they loved from the stores with them.


With Spotify supplying the tracklists for new store music players, we developed 3 features to define the experience:

  • A Starbucks Barista app that allowed store employees to control the music.
  • An in-store specific Music section within the Starbucks app.
  • An out-of-store Starbucks tracklist feature within the Spotfy app.

Solving for Location

In order to create a compelling experience regardless of a Starbucks customer location, we defined location and non-location specific modules. This allowed for people to revisit tracks they just listened to, but were too busy look up while grabbing their coffee, save the song playing in the store they’re visiting in real time, or change their store in the case where location data might not have been updated.

Feature Deep Dive

Now Playing: Show what track is currently playing in store.
Save to Spotify: Save the track on Spotify (My favorite Starbucks playlist) and on Starbucks app (Saved tracks)