Caught L.A. Girls by Jupiter Rising on The Hills, picked up Elliott Yamin’s best-selling CD or the latest Jackson Browne? Then you’ve experienced the work of a virtual record label partnering with the artist to market their music outside the traditional majors/indie model. In those cases, it’s Fred Croshal, the founder and CEO of Croshal Entertainment Group and the EconMusic spotlight Q&A. Croshal estimates he has been involved in selling more than 3 million albums over the past few years.
Croshal, who has 30 years in the business ranging from Sony (NYSE: SNE) Music, CBS (NYSE: CBS) Records and Madonna’s Maverick label, drew some of the strongest applause of the afternoon with his description of a business model that gives the artist more autonomy, more participation — and more of the proceeds from his or her work. Croshal and CEG provide the same mix of services an artist might get at a major label: sales, marketing, song placement, internet, publicity, budget management. Artists go to him with a finished CD: “They’ll come to me, ‘I have this disc, I need soup to nuts. What can you do for me?” What follows is “totally a partnership” that “breaks down those labels of ‘us and them.’ Yes, I’m going to give them my opinions, but at the end of the day, it