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Paul McCartney signs for Starbucks

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The music label tentacle of coffee house monolith Starbucks has signed Paul McCartney as its first major artist, the BBC reports.

Hear Music, which has to date punted "albums of licensed songs", last week announced that it would seek out original material from new and established artists, and appears to have pulled off a significant coup in securing the services of the former Beatle.

McCartney said he was "impressed with Hear Music's plan to use Starbucks' 13,500 retail outlets to sell the album", and told the company's annual meeting he expected a new album to hit the shops in early June. He enthused: "For me, the great thing is the commitment and the passion and the love of music, which as an artist is good to see."

Hear Music's multi-pronged marketing strategy includes releasing McCartney's material music via online download sites and in Hear Music coffee houses where caffeine-fuelled fans can burn tracks onto CDs.

Glen Barros, prez of Concord Music Group - Starbucks' partner in Hear Music - declared: "This is a pretty powerful new platform, when you can reach 44 million customers per week through Starbucks stores."

McCartney's previous recordings are not included in the new deal, the BBC notes. ®

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