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"As we move forward with this new venture, Hear Music will seek out unique and compelling artists from a broad range of genres to help them reach the widest audience possible.”
—-Ken Lombard, Starbucks Entertainment
MACCA WITH MOCHA?
New Starbucks/Concord Music Group Label To Launch Before End of Year
Would you like an ex-Beatle CD with that caramel frappuccino?

Starbucks and Concord Music Group have formed a new label, an outgrowth of Hear Music, which will forge relationships directly with artists and distribute recordings at Starbucks locations as well as through traditional music channels.  

Chatter has the label being distributed by UMGD, and the first act is rumored to be none other than Paul McCartney, who apparently has a brand-new album ready to go and is free from contractual obligations to EMI. Company principals refused to confirm either, nor would EMI speculate on McCartney's contract status.

The new label initiative follows the success the two companies had with previous releases, including Ray CharlesGenius Loves Company and Sergio MendesTimeless.  This agreement gives Hear Music a greater hand in developing music that fits within the profile of what corporate honches call the “Starbucks Experience.

Starbucks Entertainment President Ken Lombard, who will manage the venture with Concord Music Group President Glen Barros, said: “This announcement is a natural next step in our entertainment strategy. Hear Music will add tremendous value to the content offerings and distribution of great music Starbucks customers have come to expect. As we move forward with this new venture, Hear Music will seek out unique and compelling artists from a broad range of genres to help them reach the widest audience possible.”

Added Barros: “Hear Music will provide a powerful new way for great music to be marketed and distributed. At such a critical and challenging time in the music business, we are excited to be deepening our partnership with Starbucks in an effort to help artists connect with audiences through all music channels.”

Charles’ Genius Loves Company has sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide and won an unsurpassed eight Grammy Awards. Mendes’ Timeless won a Latin Grammy Award for Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album of the Year and to date is on its way to selling a million copies worldwide.

The Hear Music brand was originally launched in 1999 for Starbucks proprietary compilation CDs since 1999.

According to the press release, the label will develop “emerging artists with inspired vision and extraordinary talent and will also be a home for established artists with timeless resonance, providing them an extraordinary platform for reaching music fans.” In addition, Hear Music advocates "creative control for artists and encourages musicians to stretch and take risks which the new label believes will result in compelling music choices for consumers." Hey, if they’re willing to pay four bucks for a cup of coffee, who knows what they’ll buy.

The company will be based in Los Angeles, with Concord Music Group as its creative partner working collaboratively with Starbucks on promotion, distribution and marketing for Hear Music outside of Starbucks.

Starbucks boasts more than 13,000 locations in 39 countries and more than 44 million customer visits per week. 

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