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Business News (more headlines) 07-18-2001

PlayNetwork Serves Up The "Starbucks Experience" On A Global Scale

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REDMOND, Wash. - July 18, 2001 - Whether grabbing an espresso before a business meeting in Tokyo or enjoying a non-fat double Caffe Latté in London, Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) customers worldwide will now be able to enjoy a full serving of an experience that is distinctly and uniquely Starbucks, thanks in part to Redmond, Wash.-based PlayNetwork. Working closely with Hear Music, the voice of music at Starbucks, PlayNetwork now provides more than 3,500 Starbucks locations across the globe with in-store music programs and systems, including all licensing, production, equipment development, distribution and service.

While PlayNetwork landed the Starbucks account in North America three years ago, international distribution was launched and rolled out recently. Now PlayNetwork's custom music mixes can be heard in nearly all Starbucks International locations with no shortage of future projects, as Starbucks opens an average of three stores a day somewhere across the globe.

"Music has always been an important part of the Starbucks retail coffee experience," said Peter Maslen, president of Starbucks Coffee International. "By expanding this partnership with PlayNetwork to our international markets, we will further enhance and enrich the Starbucks Experience for our customers worldwide."

To provide Starbucks with the same high-quality service as in its North American stores, PlayNetwork developed an internationally certified multi-voltage CD player for global application and expanded its global agreements with international licensing agencies and record companies.

Additionally, PlayNetwork partnered with Nippon Rediffusion Ltd. (NRL) of Japan and TSC Music Systems Ltd. in the U.K. to create a communication and service structure to provide for local management of music services including licensing, distribution, system installation, and CD and tape replication. Both companies have been providing professional music services to businesses for years.

"The strength of our relationship with Starbucks demonstrates that PlayNetwork can scale to the highest levels and still provide the premium service levels for which we're known," Adam Brotman, president and CEO of PlayNetwork, said. "Additionally, the success we've had with Starbucks proves our ability to support global branding strategies of international retailers, to provide local content flavoring regardless of locale and provide local installation, distribution and support services to key international markets."

In addition to North American locations, PlayNetwork now serves Starbucks locations in Australia, Bahrain, China, Hawaii, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

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