Companies both big and small have made a practice of enticing customers into their establishments with free wifi, which encourages consumers to spend more time lingering in the business than they otherwise might have, as well as helping them to build a brand loyalty with companies who take steps to meet their needs. Service-savvy companies like Barnes and Noble have even offered their customers extra incentives to come suck up the wifi; in B&N’s case, the move was a brilliant strategy to bring its NOOK customers into the physical B&N locations by offering them coupons and discounts that were available only after logging on to the in-store wifi, as well as making it a policy that NOOK users could read the full length of any book carried in the B&N digital catalog while they were logged on in the store.
Now, The New York Times has partnered with Starbucks to produce the same lucrative result with customers and readers. In addition to the content that anyone can access via the 10-free-article-per month paywall, readers will be able to access as many as fifteen free articles per day while using Starbucks’ wifi. This partnership has obvious benefits to both companies, but again serves to build that brand loyalty with both names as consumers take advantage of the benefits.
“Starbucks is the ideal setting for The Times to offer enhanced digital access,” said Yasmin Namini, senior vice president, marketing and circulation, The New York Times, in a press release. “Customers on SDN will discover a diverse selection of Times content updated in real-time, from the day’s top stories to more in-depth features and opinion.”
While readers can still access up to ten NYT articles per month for free from anywhere, this arrangement to read up to five articles from various NYT categories–for a total of fifteen per day–offers readers the chance to sample NYT content on a dedicated page branded with the Starbucks logo. The Times will select which articles each day will be accessible through the Starbucks landing page.