“I am bullish on the music industry.” “It’s an exciting time in the music industry.” When you hear those two quotes you can’t get anything but excited about Fred Croshal and his Croshal Entertainment group.
Speaking at the Econ Music Conference on Feb 5, 2009, Mr. Croshal seemed to demonstrate an enthusiastic approach to the music recording industry which is the complete opposite of the doom and gloom being put forth by the 4 major record companies.
Since Clay Aiken announced that he had left RCA last week, there has been much discussion about what is in the musical future of this talented young man. Will he sign with another major company or will he choose the independent route? Of course, no one is privy to that information at this time, but each fan seems to have their idea as to what would be the best thing for him to do.
Croshal Entertainment Group is a virtual label according to Mr. Croshal. He explained that the artist comes to him with a finished CD. The virtual label then takes the CD and provides the same mix of services an artist would get at a major label: sales, marketing, song placement, internet, publicity, and budget management.
Mr. Croshal feels that there are big advantages to being an independent musician. First, at his company, you are in a total partnership. It is not the “us and them” that you have at the major labels. When speaking about the partnership, Mr. Croshal said; “Yes, I’m going to give them my opinions, but at the end of the day, it’s their decision.”
Another huge incentive for using an independent record label is that the artist still owns his music. He does not have to sign over the masters. The music belongs to the artist.
Croshal, who has more than 30 years in the business at Sony Music, CBS and Maverick Records, split with the big companies when his ideas about the business conflicted with the huge record companies. As an example, he mentioned the labels resistance to the internet. “We would constantly get into these fights because we broke the rules…..by giving away free singles.” The label would spend $500,000 on radio promotions but would not allow millions to hear the song on-line. He feels it is good to share it because it will come back in some revenue stream. He feels that the internet is the most valuable tool in music promotion.
The artist does not have to have a great deal of money to sign with his company. As a partnership, the money is more fairly distributed between the artist and the company. He uses Elliot Yamin as an example. He has been very successful in his career and has been able to buy a beautiful home and a really nice automobile.
Whatever Clay decides to do with his musical career, it is important to see all sides of the industry to understand the possibilities. Mr. Aiken is an intelligent young man who has made great professional decisions so far. I am sure he has studied and talked with many experts to help him through this exciting time of change.
If you would like to see the video, please click on the link below to mj’sblog and click on the arrow.
Fred Croshal: Indie vs. Major