It’s common knowledge now that YouTubers are beginning to step away from their bedrooms and vlog cameras in favour of creating their own businesses and careers in the wider world. Connor Franta and two friends, Andrew Graham and Jeremy Wineberg, did just that back in July 2015 when they founded the Heard Well label. But in their wildest dreams we bet they couldn’t have imagined being partners with Sony Music just 8 months later.
Having now signed a deal with Sony’s distribution network Red, Heard Well and Co will be able to expand their vision into new areas of the music industry. Currently, digital media stars such as Connor Franta himself, Lohanthony, Amanda Steele and JC Caylen have been using the platform to curate up-and-coming artists into collective albums, but this new partnership brings with it the promise of signing up original artists.
Andrew Graham, one of the cofounders of Heard Well, speaks about the new partnership with Sony Music; “To date, Heard Well has been a licensing business. 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”. Red’s involvement brings along the promise of additional promotion tools for the company as well as giving acts radio airplay and greater digital marketing. But the deal isn’t just a one-way street.
In return, Red will have access to a large and creative bunch of digital influencers who work with Heard Well to deliver innovative collaborations. By teaming up with social media personalities, Sony will be able to spotlight their own up-and-coming stars into collections, such as Connor Franta’s Common Culture volumes, to provide those artists with greater coverage and exposure.
Bob Morelli, the President behind Sony’s Red, states his excitement to work with Franta and Co; “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. Red and ‘state media look forward to working with Jeremy, Andrew, Connor and the entire Heard Well team in developing the best new talent in contemporary music”.
Watch this space!