Franta tapped several YouTubers to make albums around their favorite songs.
“We wanted each influencer to have a unique point of view that’s different from the others,” said Graham. “Connor has this indie pop thing going on, Amanda Steele loves hip-hop, Jc Caylen loves EDM. The labels are happy with that, because they’ll have a song they want to put on an album, but it doesn’t fit for Connor. It allows us to be able to transition priority artists in a smart way.”
Franta and co-founders Graham and Invisible DJ Records founder Jeremy Wineberg hit the ground running with their project, with hopes to release 20 albums a year.
“I was talking to an executive at Interscope [about the volume of albums],” laughed Graham. “He thought that was ridiculous!”
Heard Well can aim for that level of productivity because it’s all licensed content, not studio production, although they aren’t limiting themselves to licensing forever.
“I sort of liken it to HBO, Netflix, and Showtime,” explained Graham. “Let’s license for a while, let’s get that right, and then let’s move into more originals.”
Franta, who has 4.7 million subscribers and already launched ventures off YouTube that include a boutique coffee line and a best-selling memoir, has seen his own compilations rise on the Billboard and iTunes charts upon release. That kind of power is a great incentive for Heard Well to elevate up-and-coming bands with a few clicks.
“It elevates both sides of the coin,” said Graham. “It elevates the influencer. It builds cache around their name, it allows them to play in a market they’re not normally in. On the flip side, if you’re an emerging artist, it gives you tremendous momentum. If you’re a garage band we found on Spotify, I can tell you that you’re going to be on a Billboard 100 album. Every artist that’s on Connor’s label is going to be on a Billboard 100 album.”
Screengrab via Connor Franta/YouTube