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ESPN Rumor Central on the Starbucks Digital Network

Digital subscriptions to the Economist aren’t cheap, but temporary online access to the magazine’s contents just dropped to the price of a cup of coffee, and a trip to the nearest Starbucks store.

In conjunction with its annual meeting in Seattle this morning, the coffee giant rolled out new premium content partners for its Starbucks Digital Network. In addition to the Economist, the company is adding ESPN Insider Rumor Central, Marvel Digital Comics and Mediabistro. They join media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today on the network.

The in-store network, launched last year, attempts to capitalize on the free wifi in Starbucks stores.

But for all the free content, Adam Brotman, Starbucks vice president of digital ventures, acknowledges in an interview with Mashable that most people just want the free wifi. ““We’re trying to strike a delicate balance, to enhance our customers’ experience and differentiate our Wi-Fi from other chains,” he tells the site. “But, we’re really careful not to overly promote ourselves and get in the way of the experience.”

Follow-up: The ‘Fourth Place’: Starbucks as a technology giant


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