I’m late to the party on this, but Starbucks somewhat-recently announced that they’re teaming up with Spotify to do in-store playlists. From the looks of it, Starbucks is doing branded playlists on Spotify, and baristas can change their store’s music on the fly.
I wish this kind of development had been available when I worked retail in high school and college. We would get so sick of the music, which was usually on a loop of 3 or 8 hours (depending on the corporation). It rendered more than a few songs completely un-listenable to me.
It seems like Starbucks has always had a pretty good understanding of music’s role in creating an inviting atmosphere. I have a soft spot for their music selection because the first time I heard my friend’s band Bon Iver “in the wild” was in a Starbucks.