I can honestly say that the last time I was inside of a Starbucks was eons ago. Drive-through, yes, but certainly not visiting inside or accessing Wi-Fi. For those of you who are regular Starbucks visitors, however, you may be happy to hear that Wi-Fi is going to be free for you in future visits.
Coming July 1st, Starbucks will be offering up free Wi-Fi to the masses. And I think this is a great marketing move for the company. Sometimes, freebies go a long way. But before getting too excited, remember the old Milton Friedman adage that I am always spouting about: “there is no such thing as a free lunch”; there is no exception to this rule with free Wi-Fi.
Those connecting to and enjoying the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks coming in July are likely going to notice a presence from companies such as AOL and Yahoo!, among others. The idea is to make sure this is not too annoying, so the content you will be seeing will be as targeted as possible. But, rest assured, it will be ad supported at some level. My take is: so long as I can close the ads, who cares? It’s free.