July 22, 2015 Last Updated 10:25 am

The New York Times, Starbucks team up a bit though mobile app content initiative

Starting next year customers using the Starbucks mobile app will be able to access free articles and earn ‘Stars’ through purchasing digital subscriptions to the NYT

The New York Times will be offering some free articles through the Starbucks mobile app starting some time next year. It is a minor little partnership, one without much risk, though probably also without much reward.

Starbucks-iPhone6-380First the details: NYT top stories and other content will be included inside the Starbucks mobile app, used by loyalty customers, often to pay for items at Starbucks store locations. Customers will also be able to earn “Stars” through paid digital and print subscriptions to the NYT.

“Our relationship with The New York Times is the perfect example of bringing this vision to life,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo of Starbucks. “We have proudly sold millions of copies of the paper in Starbucks stores for more than a decade, and are excited to bring this experience to the next level by enabling Starbucks loyal customers to take the best of The New York Times with them wherever they go, whenever they want it.”

The deal is all about expanding the reach of the Times as the paper is seeing slowing growth in digital subscriptions.

“This is another in a series of arrangements we have made recently in order to ensure that The Times continue to expand the reach of our journalism to new and interesting pools of readers,” Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times Company. “We’re particularly happy that Starbucks has also put in place an appealing incentive to turn these readers into subscribers.”

Most Starbucks locations already, or at least have, sold print editions of the NYT. It is not known if there may be more going on here that meets the eye. For instance, it is doubtful that Starbucks makes much money off of newspaper sales, and most customers now come to the store with their mobile device or laptop, so it is possible that Starbucks might be dumping its racks.

But the deal makes sense for both parties because it extends the reach of NYT content, and gets customers to use their Starbucks apps for more than just paying for a cup of joe.

In fact, one wonders if the introduction of Apple Pay may be surpressing usage of the Starbucks app a tad, which also makes one wonder if the new intiative will drive much readership of NYT content.

But no matter, it is a smart little business deal, good for both sides, and indicative of the kind of deals the NYT is making in order to extend the reach of their content. The NYT is, after all, an early partner with Facebook on its Instant Articles, and is also working with Apple on the new Apple News app.

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