Starbucks to start music label, eyes McCartney.

It looks like we may have a second Beatles-related release from Starbucks.  This move seems totally odd to me.  I mean I love my coffee like all the rest, but I just don’t agree with the cross-promotional move from the java giants.  I am all about the wonderful artist’s choice compilations, but something seems unsettling about new music, particularly a Beatles’ new music, out on a label with the Starbucks logo.  It just seems a bit too corporate to me.   On the other hand, who better to kick off a new label than Sir Paul?

It’s not as if Paul is a starving new musician who needs the exposure that would come with the Starbucks brand.  What’s next a new McCartney CD on the myspace label?

Here’s what we’ve read.

Having already proven that it can sell other companies’ music, coffee giant Starbucks is planning to launch its own record label and is close to a deal for the next album from former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney to be its first release, according to sources familiar with the plans.

The formation of Starbucks Records, as the unit is expected to be called, could be announced as soon as this week, according to these sources.

Launching a record label is something “that has been bandied about for quite a while,” said one source. “They think they are empowered enough to do that.”

Said another: “They have a very targeted, efficient distribution channel that allows them to be profitable in a limited way with music.”

Starbusks could also take on a partner in the venture.

Unlike its Hear Music operation, which releases the Artists Choice compilation series that features musicians such as Sheryl Crow or The Rolling Stones selecting songs that influenced them, Starbucks Records is expected sign, record and produce its own artists rather than licensing songs from other labels.

That’s where Sir Paul comes in. The wrinkly rocker not only fits with the Starbucks demographic, but also is a free agent not signed to any label, sources said.

A spokesman for McCartney could not be reached.

Up until now, Starbucks has only distributed music though its retail coffee shops. But it is believed that Starbucks Records will seek to secure distribution for its releases in other retail outlets.

Starbucks Hear Music had its greatest success with the release of Ray Charles’ “Genius Loves Company,” a co-production with Concord Records that went on to win eight Grammy awards including Album of the Year.

The caffeine pusher has enough licensing deals in place with major and independent record labels to build its own digital-music store a la Apple’s iTunes, or it could bring in a partner to help build the digital infrastructure.

There have been talks about putting kiosks in its shops so that customers can shop for music and create their own compilations while waiting for their $5 cup of joe.

“We are constantly in discussions with potential partners to create innovative ways to help our customers discover quality entertainment offerings,” Starbucks said in a statement issued to The Post. “We have no announcement regarding any new partnership at this time.”

Source: NY Post


One Response

  1. […] now, after all this time and history that Paul would take his records and setup shop in the new Starbucks venture.  I remembered reading a while back that McCartney had inked a lifetime contract with […]

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