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Starbucks gives away free male/masculine music

Date: June 25, 2011

So I go to Starbucks once a week or so, which is actually how frequently they give away promo codes which let customers download free “pick of the week” music through Apple iTunes. So I’ve been picking up the cards that contain these codes each week without actually downloading the music for the most part, and today I noticed that they have accumulated in a pocket of my purse. Here are the cards I’ve collected:

free song cards

Is it just me, or do you see the pattern as well? Week after week, Starbucks is picking male musicians and bands. In fact, the last female artist I remember on one of these cards is k.d. lang several months ago (which I downloaded), so perhaps it’s more accurate to say that Starbucks keeps picking artists who are masculine in their appearance (most of whom also happen to be men).

I don’t necessarily go to Starbucks every week, so perhaps they are featuring female and/or feminine-looking artists while I’m away from their stores. But that is unlikely. The question is, is the obvious male/masculine slant simply a reflection of the taste of whoever is picking the songs at Starbucks, or based on some sort of internal marketing data, or perhaps even a result of promotional strategies at record companies?

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