Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) and Concord Music Group announced today the formation of a new record label, Hear Music, which will forge relationships directly with artists and distribute recordings at Starbucks locations as well as through traditional music channels.Â The new company will build upon the success Starbucks and Concord have experienced with previous releases, including Ray Charles’ “Genius Loves Company” and Sergio Mendes’ “Timeless.”Â This agreement gives Hear Music a greater hand in developing music that fits within the profile of the Starbucks Experience. Â Â “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,” said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment.Â “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.” Â Â “Hear Music will provide a powerful new way for great music to be marketed and distributed,” said Glen Barros, president of Concord Music Group.Â “At such a critical 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.” Â Â Starbucks Entertainment and Concord Music Group’s past collaborationsÂ include Ray Charles’ “Genius Loves Company,” which to date has sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide and won an unsurpassed eight GRAMMYÂ® Awards including Album of the Year.Â In addition, Sergio Mendes’ “Timeless” won a Latin GRAMMYÂ® Award for Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album of the Year and to date is on its way to selling a million copies worldwide. Â Â The Hear Music brand, which has been used on Starbucks proprietary compilation CDs since 1999, is recognized throughout the entertainment industry for its groundbreaking marketing and merchandising of music for both established artists and rising stars.Â Now with the new Hear Music label, Starbucks further solidifies the creative partnership with Concord in order to carry the Starbucks musical experience to all other music channels. Â Â This new Hear Music label has evolved from a natural partnership between two innovative companies rooted in quality, authenticity, relevance, and passion.Â 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.Â 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. Â Â The company will be based in Los Angeles, California.Â Ken Lombard, president Starbucks Entertainment, will serve as chief manager of the new venture and will report directly to the management committee. He will work closely with Glen Barros, President of Concord Music Group, on the day-to-day activities of the venture.Â Concord Music Group will serve as a creative partner and will work collaboratively with Starbucks on promotion, distribution and marketing for Hear Music outside of Starbucks. Â Â With more than 13,000 locations in 39 countries and more than 44 million customer visits per week, Starbucks offers a unique set of assets.Â Starbucks distinctive customer loyalty and trusted curatorial voice has had a significant impact on the music marketplace.Â Along with the Starbucks retail footprint, Concord Music Group’s exemplary label platform will ensure broader global presence for all Hear Music artists.