Starbucks: New Record Label Announced; iTunes Still Digital Store

It’s actually not as improbable as it may sound at first blush … Whatever anyone thinks about selling downloads or personalized CDs in stores, Starbucks has been successful when it comes to selling Hear Music releases. Sunday, the NY Post reported that a rumored Starbucks Records label could be announced as reality as early as this week. That announcement came today from Starbucks Entertainment; the company will partner with Concord Music Group, which helped Starbucks make a success of its Grammy-winning Ray Charles’ Genius Loves Company. The results will be sold at Starbucks but also through other retailers.
AP: Dan Geiman, an analyst with McAdams Wright Ragen: “The record label expansion is sure to prompt more questions about whether Starbucks will begin offering digital downloading stations at its stores.” Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment, said the company was focused mainly on the success of its iTunes page. Glen Barros, president of Concord Music Group said recording artists should like the built-in audience “particularly at a time when digital downloading has created ‘a stressful time for the music industry.'”
— No payoff yet for another aspect of the NYP rumor: reputed first artist Sir Paul McCartney. (via No signings announced yet.
— The timing is a little off in at least one respect: a memo from Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz about how the company has gotten too far from its roots is reverberating.