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May 19, 2011

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

WITH OR WITHOUT YOU - New Opportunities for Artists and Publishers Outside the Traditional Label System

In this new age of diminished physical record sales and the consolidation and disappearance of labels, many artists are turning to alternative means of financing, distributing and marketing their music. Our distinguished panel will discuss this new and expanding paradigm and the myriad opportunities for publishers, artists, managers, marketing executives and others.


Fred Croshal
CEO, Croshal Entertainment Group

Tom DeSavia
VP Creative, Notable Music

Danny Ostrow
Owner, Total Assault

Jill Sobule
Artist & Songwriter


Michael Eames
President, PEN Music Group, Inc.

AIMP Panel

Place: View Map
House of Blues
8430 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood. Valet parking, on site, $7. Call for directions.

From left, Tom DeSavia, Jill Sobule, Fred Croshal, Danny Ostrow, Michael Eames and Lionel Conway. 

Photos by Liz Redwing and Ronan Chris Murphy, courtesy House of Blues, Sunset. 

Additional Speaker Information

Fred Croshal ,Founder and CEO of CEG, possesses more than 30 years of experience in the music industry. As a cutting edge executive, Croshal worked his way up through the ranks and helmed some of the most prominent music companies in the industry. Croshal founded CEG in 2003, a company that provides management for the multi-platinum band Collective Soul, the chart-topping rock band, New Found Glory, and the country duo, Nik & Sam. He also provides marketing and consulting services, as well as his unique model for the “virtual label” (a first in the business) to successfully and profitably release independent music from a list of high-profile clients. After launching his career in retail, Croshal’s first executive position was at CBS Records in San Francisco. Holding the title of Account Service Representative, Croshal’s knowledge of merchandising, inventory and maintenance of retail accounts enabled his promotion to Sales Representative, where he was responsible for annual sales of approximately $20 Million. After receiving multiple sales awards including Sales Representative of the Year in 1987, Croshal was promoted to southwest Sales Manager of Sony Music Distribution. Based in Dallas, Texas, Croshal managed a staff of 75 that generated over $150 Million in annual revenue. He was soon called to Los Angeles to oversee the Southern California staff for Sony Music Labels. Working with a roster of legendary artists such as Michael Jackson, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Streisand and Stevie Ray Vaughan (amongst others), Croshal initiated some of the most stellar sales campaigns to date and helped generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the company. Croshal’s accomplishments quickly elevated him to Vice President of Sales for Sony Music prior to joining Maverick Recording Company in 1996. As Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Madonna’s record label, Maverick Recording Company, Croshal helped develop the careers and the marketing campaigns for groundbreaking artists such as Alanis Morissette, The Deftones and Michelle Branch as well as successful soundtrack projects such as Austin Powers, The Matrix and The Wedding Singer (amongst others). His expertise and leadership was soon recognized and Croshal became General Manager of the highly successful boutique label in 2000. As a creative leader of Maverick, he nurtured the careers of many of today’s top artists and developed long-term relationships with major partners in every sector of the music and entertainment industry. As a “hands on” businessman, he was responsible for budgeting and forecasting the financial outlook of Maverick, producing revenues of more than $100 million per year. Today, Fred Croshal is President and owner of CEG in Agoura Hills, CA. His company provides marketing consulting services as well as his unique “virtual label” model to clients. In 2007, CEG helped break a Billboard record with Elliott Yamin for the highest independent debut of an album in chart history (#3 on the Top 200). Croshal’s consulting clients have included Alanis Morissette, Jason Mraz, Gnarls Barkley, Jackson Browne, Sinead O’Connor, Smokey Robinson, Elliot Yamin, Filter, Blind Melon, and many more.

Tom DeSavia is the VP, Creative at Notable Music, an independent music publishing company started by legendary composer, songwriter and pianist Cy Coleman in 1962. The company’s distinguished roster includes the Coleman estate, Rosanne Cash, Sam Phillips, Bobby Hebb, a joint-venture with Wax Poetics magazine, and other endeavors. Prior to joining Notable Music, DeSavia was Sr. VP of Membership at ASCAP where he headed up the PRO’s pop/rock staff from 2001-2009, overseeing a department of 15 creative staff members throughout the US, as well as having an integral hand in ASCAP's international outreach, specifically in the UK and Australia. This marked his second position at ASCAP—he worked in the Membership department, on the pop/rock music staff from 1989-1996. In the interim, he spent six years in the A&R department at Elektra Entertainment as VP of A&R where he both signed and developed talent and worked on projects with many iconic artists on the label's historic roster. DeSavia began his career as a music journalist. He has worked closely with countless and varied artists over the years, including the Old 97s, X, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Gin Blossoms, and Toad The Wet Sprocket, among others. He previously served on the board of directors for both the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

Danny Ostrow is the founder of Total Assault LLC, a leading full-service digital and social media promotion company, which he started in 1998, long before the current technology boom. The company works with new and established acts and helps them navigate the social media tools of the Internet on three portals: www.totalassault.com, music.totalassault.com, popgeneration.com and soul-bomb.com. Total Assault has created successful and innovative digital campaigns for its entertainment clients, enabling them to connect with customers, raise brand awareness, enhance brand loyalty, raise user engagement and optimize their digital infrastructure. Clients include Madonna, Katy Perry, the Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, Metallica, Insane Clown Posse, Jonas Brothers, Dave Matthews Band, U2, Nirvana and Steve Miller Band, as well as the films Shrek and Bratz. Total Assault has tackled projects for major entertainment groups including Universal Music Enterprises, Universal Republic, Capitol Records, Atlantic Records, Red Light Management, Hollywood Records, RCA Records, Sony Legacy Recordings, Warner Bros. Records, Reprise Records, Sire Records, Walt Disney Records, Starz Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Interscope Geffen A&M and Octone. In the past few years TA has begun digital marketing for corporate brands and is currently working multiple brand clients as well. Ostrow began his career clearing markets in sales for the legendary Wolfman Jack’s syndicated Graffiti Gold show, and launched his career in independent radio promotion for Dudley/Gorov before spending four years at HITS magazine as Radio Editor. Ostrow was named N.Y.-based Director of Promotion for PolyGram Label Group, where he helped secure airplay for hit acts such as U2, Melissa Etheridge, Cranberries, Salt N Pepa and Van Morrison. After that, he segued to Rick Rubin’s American Recordings as an L.A.-based VP Promotion, where he took the Black Crowes, Jayhawks, Sir Mix A Lot, Johnny Cash, Danzig and Slayer to radio. Then VP Promotion for Rob Kahane and Paul Palmer’s Trauma Records followed, helping break Bush and No Doubt and establishing Shaquille O’Neal as a credible rapper. After leaving Trauma, he recorded demos and partnered with L.A. rock-rap group Crazy Town, getting them signed to Tim Devine and Jon Pikus at Columbia Records, where they scored a No.1 single with “Butterfly.” Ostrow graduated from the USC School of Journalism.

Jill Sobule who has released over seven albums throughout a decade of recording, has mused on topics such as the death penalty, anorexia, shoplifting, reproduction, the French resistance movement, adolescence, love found, love lost, and the Christian right. In 2009 Jill released “California Years” and received a great deal of attention not only for the great music but for the method used to fund the recording and release. The entire cost was covered by a group of 600+ partrons who’s contributions ranged from $10 in exchange for a digital download of the record prior to it’s release, up to $10,000 in exchange for a vocal appearance on the record. (For more details about the funding of California Years visit www.jillsnextrecord.com.) The goal of $75,000 was raised in 53 days. Patrons were from 44 US states as well as 13 countries including most of Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, most of Scandnavia as well as Canada, Greenland and Australia. Jill continues to be at the forefront of exploring creative and unique paths to engage her fans in a long term authentic relationship. The benefits of utilizing these relationships as well as social networks, free downloads, limited edition recordings often bundled with totems personalized by Jill, traditional retail sales and more is proving to be a personally rewarding, professionally successful and often emulated way forward in the “new music business” of writing, recording and performing. You’ve seen her at dozens ofTED conferences, on CNN, read her thoughts on the Huffington Post and in Amercian Songwriter Magazne, and heard her on the Bob and Tom Radio Show, on NPR and on the TV show Unfabulous. Jill Sobule is an original voice in the often monotonous and cluttered landscape of popular music as well as a renaissance woman and business pioneer. Jill Sobule was born and raised in Denver Colorado and currently lives in Los Angeles. John Parales in the New York Times wrote"Jill Sobule can claim her place among the stellar…singer-songwriters of the last decade.Topical, funny and more than a little poignant ...grown-up music for an adolescent age." A free download of a song from Jill’s most current release (a record with John Doe from the seminal LA punk band “X”), entitled “A Day At The Pass” can be found at www.jillsobule.com.

Michael Eames is President of PEN Music Group, Inc. Founded in 1994, PEN is a full-service independent music publishing company with a worldwide presence. PEN offers efficiency and personal attention as a boutique company. With PEN’s A-list music contacts in film, TV and advertising, and a success rate that continues to grow (with 200+ placements each year), it is an effective alternative to the large multinational publishing companies. Eames, a 1989 Cornell University graduate with a major in Music and a minor in Business Management, is also a trained composer, songwriter and pianist with experience in film scoring. Prior to PEN, Eames supervised the international activities and film & television department of Don Williams Music Group, where he was responsible for numerous song catalogues including Jimi Hendrix, Chicago and Roy Orbison. He has also worked with the catalogue of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and The Derek Power Co. management firm.

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