How Heard Well is making music truly social

In just two years of its existence, Heard Well has revolutionised the way audiences discover emerging artists. Established in 2015, Heard Wellis an innovative music label which partners with social tastemakers and their communities to curate playlists of emerging artists.

Ahead of his keynote at Music Matters as part of All That Matters, we spoke to co-founder Jeremy Wineberg to understand how social  is driving what people listen to and what this means for a new type of label like Heard Well.

[Meet Wineberg and other global music leaders including Cussion Pang, CEO, Tencent Music Entertainment Group; Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, YouTube; Hartwig Masuch, CEO, BMG; Alex Zhu, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Musical.ly; Joshua Burke, Global Head of Music Sourcing, The Coca-Cola Company; Tom Windish, Senior Executive, Paradigm Talent Agency and many more at Music Matters. Book your seats here.]

“We have created a unique bond that brings together fans and music in a way that is new and unique. Our creators curate their playlists with music they discover and then we license it for their fans to experience.” Wineberg said.

“We work with creators that love music and are passionate about finding new emerging artists that they want to promote on their platforms. It’s a very authentic relationship,” he added.

Most recently, Heard Well partnered with Sony/ATV Music Publishing as part of which Sony/ATV will sign emerging artists who have built a following through Heard Well as well as provide a pathway for Sony/ATV’s own songwriters via compilation albums released through the label.

Over the past two years Heard Well has released over 20 compilations that have all charted on the Billboard and iTunes Top 10 charts in specific genre categories – a majority of those releases went to #1.

“These compilations were all curated by our influencers and included music from dozens of artists that went off to sign with major labels. Observing this pattern, we began to position ourselves as more than a licensing business for compilations and actually enter the original space for signing artists and publishing to Heard Well,” Wineberg said.

As part of this new deal, Heard Well will now be able to sign originals and tell a complete story from introducing an artist on a compilation to supporting and signing them to Heard Well. “Our bet is that by combining the strengths of digital and influencer with Sony’s institutional resources and relationships, we’ll be able to break artists in a wholly new way,” he added. Its distributor, The Orchard, is already part of the Sony family.

Asia a key focus for Heard Well

The company is seeing unprecedented levels of success in Asia as well. Most recently, Heard Well topped iTunes Charts across Asia through Filipino YouTube Stars Ranz & Niana, which Wineberg says was a big moment for the company.

“Western-based music companies work tirelessly to find ways to introduce their new artists to foreign markets. Using the power of our social creators, we have taken a compilation of twelve tracks we love, and added the fuel to bring these records to the top of the charts across Malaysia, Thailand, The Philippines, and Indonesia overnight,” he said.

“There is huge potential here to grow our business outside of the United States. It’s just about pairing music with big influencers in those specific territories like we did with Ranz and Niana. I see us building a healthy business in Asia,” he added.

Does this undermine the role of traditional A&R execs then? What’s Wineberg’s view on social tastemakers versus A&Rs? How will Heard Well continue to disrupt the industry as the social media landscape evolves? Join all the crucial conversations around the music industry’s future, growth and innovation at our biggest-everMusic Matters 2017 presented by Tencent.

5 nights of music, 3 days of conference and one All That Matters experience!

With over 30 Keynotes already announced and more to come, there has never been a more valuable time to be part of Asia’s biggest entertainment event of the year! Join us at All That Matters to hear from and connect with key decision makers from the entertainment industry.

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