Starbucks and Concord Music Group have formed a new label, Hear Music, which will sign established and emerging artists directly for distribution inside and outside the coffee chain.
Under the collaborative venture, Starbucks will take primary responsibility for A&R, while Concord will lead marketing, promotion and distribution of Hear Music artists outside the cafes.
Hear Music expects to release its first album by the end of this year. Neither Starbucks nor Concord would confirm a New York Post report that Sir Paul McCartney is close to signing a deal.
Since 1999, the Hear Music brand has been used for compilations and co-releases for sale at Starbucks locations. The name will now be used exclusively for the Los Angeles-based Hear Music label partnership. Following the success of past joint releases, including Ray Charles’ “Genius Loves Company” and Sergio Mendes’ “Timeless,” the company launched its Starbucks Hear Music Debut series, through which emerging artists released their first albums exclusively at Starbucks locations.