Yann Beauregard-Lemay and Julien Bidar, the duo behind the publishing startup Outloud, are driven by a deep-seated desire to do things differently.

After honing their skills in the various businesses run by Sébastien Nasra – Bidar is an alumnus of Éditions Avalanche, and Beauregard-Lemay of Disques Vega and the M for Montréal festival – the two friends decided to join forces and create a publishing company that they intend to keep nimble and innovative, two crucial elements in this constantly evolving music industry.

Says Bidar: “We work with smaller budgets in an industry that generates less money than before. That, however, must not stop us from moving forward and being dynamic for the bands we represent as publishers. For example, we don’t wait for an album to come out in a given territory before encouraging that band to tour there. That’s the case with Coco Méliès, who are currently touring Europe for the second time – thanks to our contract with Kalima Productions, and despite not having a record contract. The first tour was profitable. So for us, that was a development effort with a return on investment.” (Editor’s Note: On April 26, Audiogram announced that it was signing Coco Méliès, whose catalogue will now be managed by Éditorial Avenue.)

Bidar and Beauregard-Lemay work in close collaboration with all the bands they sign. That’s a necessity when one manages a catalogue that’s mainly centred on emerging talent, such as Secret Sun, Orange O’Clock, Fred Woods, AléatoireTechnical Kidman and Dr. Mad. “We establish partnerships after meeting with the artists. We want to bond with them, sharing a vision,” says Bidar. “That allows us to come up with strategies that are in their image and in ours.” To them, managing musical works is synonymous with the development of an artistic process. If this seems very close to a manager’s job, both men keenly deny that they want to meddle. “Our job is not making sure everything runs smoothly during a tour, or that they have water bottles next to their mike stands,” says Bidar. “That’s very important, but it’s not our department.”

“There’s always a lot of luck involved, but you need to always be pro-active” — Julien Bidar of Outloud

Right from the get-go, in 2014, they managed to land two successful ad placements in Europe, which gave their publishing endeavour strong momentum. They placed a song by Jean-Sébastien Houle in a TV ad for the Bank of Austria. Outloud also placed a song by Locksley – a work in a British catalogue, So Far, managed by Outloud – in an ad for Polish beer Zywiec Warianty. “There’s always a lot of luck involved, but you need to always be pro-active,” says Bidar who’s made it his specialty. “I send at least two or three pitches a day to get only one ‘yes’ back every 50 pitches or so. The goal is to create the perfect match between a song and a product. An artist’s notoriety can influence the outcome, but it’s not the only factor in play.”

Bank of Austria ad with Jean-Sébastien Houle’s music:

Hoping to get as many placements as they can, the aptly-named Outloud intends to make as much noise as it can. That’s where Beauregard-Lemay comes into play, a man that Bidar likes to jokingly call “the man who can’t walk down the street without everyone recognizing him.” Beauregard-Lemay is in charge of the social media accounts of the many bands represented by Outloud, which means he maintains close ties with a sizeable number of music blogs. He also manages to get stories in more traditional media. Beauregard-Lemay concurs that this approach yields a lot of credibility: “For us, this link with the media and social networks feeds into a band’s image, and facilitates the ulterior placement of their music. We don’t bill our bands for this work, because we believe we come out winners as much as they do in carrying out these promotional efforts.”

And this online presence is encouraged by Outloud in many different ways. To wit, Bidar and Beauregard-Lemay told Coco Méliès they should release a song created for a pitch as an online-only single. Same for Aléatoire, who managed to reach 150,000 plays with a single song on Spotify. They’ve encouraged Secret Sun to have their material remixed by various producers, like ­ Foxtrott and The Posterz – in order to maximize their variety of styles. “When you want to place music in visual content, you need to be versatile,” says Beauregard-Lemay.

Sonically and territorially boundless, Outloud maintains a versatile and global approach, masterfully piloted by these two businessmen and their common passion for music.