Heard Well, the music label powered by social media influencers including co-founder Connor Franta, has signed a deal with Red Distribution, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.
Since launching in July 2015, Heard Well has built a network of social media stars, including Franta, Jc Caylen, Lohanthony and Amanda Steele, to release a series of compilation albums featuring music licensed from emerging artists. But the Los Angeles-based company is now preparing to sign artists of its own.
"To date, Heard Well has been a licensing business," explains co-founder Andrew Graham, who counts Franta and entrepreneur Jeremy Wineberg as business partners in the venture. "But at the end of the day we want to be in the business of breaking new acts. Our relationship with Red is unique because we have a whole array of products that we can lean into as we start to scale this part of our business."
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The deal with Red, a distribution and marketing company within SME, will give Heard Well access to more resources as it builds up its business of compilations and original acts. Heard Well will now be able to leverage Red's label services as well as its marketing agency, 'stache media, for radio promotion, placement on digital platforms and marketing.
Red, meanwhile, will gain access to the network of influencers who work with Heard Well, which boasts that it can help elevate musicians through inclusion in their compilations. For example, Franta's most recent album, Common Culture Vol. 4, hit No. 1 on the iTunes electronic chart, not long after Caylen's album also ascended to the top of that chart.
"The concept for Heard Well has evolved into a team of smart, creative people with impeccable taste who reach millions through their amazing digital marketing strategy," said Red president Bob Morelli. "Red and 'stache media look forward to working with Jeremy, Andrew, Connor and the entire Heard Well team in developing the best new talent in contemporary music."
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.