3rd March 2015

Is Starbucks about to serve up a ground-breaking service?


It’s a fair bet that if anybody in the country was asked what Starbucks is famous for, the answer would be coffee.

Such was the expansion of the company a few years ago that an episode of The Simpsons made reference to Starbucks with this scene from a shopping mall:

So I was very interested to read that the company has taken on the renowned Washington Post writer Rajiv Chandrasekaran, who tweeted this weekend that he’s leaving the newspaper after more than 20 years.

The journalist has been brought on board to partner with a new Starbucks media outlet – it is believed the duo will focus on producing hard-hitting nonfiction documentaries based around creating social impact.

The specifics of the new venture haven’t yet been released but speaking to the Colombia Journalism Review, Rajiv said:

The Howard Schultz mentioned is the CEO of Starbucks and has previously collaborated with Chandrasekaran on a book about the treatment of veterans in the USA.

It’s a very interesting move from the coffee company. Starbucks has tens of thousands of cafes across the world and with free Wi-Fi available in most of them the opportunity is there for it to break into the media world.

As stated, the details are still relatively unknown but were impressive enough to persuade a journalist on one of the USA’s biggest papers to leave after more than 20 years in his job.

If Starbucks makes a go of this and its documentaries become some of the most talked-about on social media, then don’t bet against other firms following it into the, often volatile, media world.

by Dave Goddard, head of media