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Starbucks is forming a record label

You want a CD with that latte? On Monday, Starbucks and Concord Music Group announced the formation of a joint record label, Hear Music. The label plans to sign artists and release original music via music stores and the Internet in addition to Hear Music’s existing platform, Starbucks coffeehouses, by the end of the year.

“In the past, Hear Music has been primarily the branding that we use for the music the we offer for our customers inside the stores,” said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment. “This is going to be a collaboration between the two companies. For us, it’s a natural next step in moving to a level where we’re a label.”

The plan for Hear Music is to continue in the vein of previous Starbucks-Concord collaborations such as Ray Charles’ “Genius Loves Company,” which sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide with the marketing push of its placement in Starbucks stores.

-- Chris Lee

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