Convenience store operator 7-Eleven Inc. plans to test selling music downloads this year as it looks for ways to cash in on the booming demand for portable digital content.
James Keyes said selling digital content, including music, could provide a good growth opportunity as sales of portable gadgets such as Apple Computer Inc.'s Customers should be able to walk into a 7-Eleven store to burn their favorite songs onto a CD or download content onto their portable music player, Keyes told a Merrill Lynch retailing and consumer products industry conference here.
"We think in 10 years this could be a significant opportunity," said Keyes on the prospect to download movies.
7-Eleven, which operates or franchises about 5,800 stores in the United States and Canada and licenses about 22,000 more in 17 other countries, would also want to tap into the movie downloading business, but not until it had the technology to download a full feature-length movie in just two minutes or less, he said.
Last year leading specialty coffee retailer Starbucks Corp. (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) launched a music service in 45 of its U.S. stores that allows customers to burn songs onto CDs while they wait for their favorite foamy coffee drinks.