Letters from the Road: Donald Passman

Not so much a letter this go-round but… a guest appearance via e-mail interview this week from acclaimed author and entertainment attorney Donald Passman (REM, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, etc.). Holy beans, even we can still hardly believe it.

Don’s latest version of All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Seventh Edition includes all kinds of Music 2.0 updates and is MANDATORY.

Take it away Don….

OUTLANDOS MUSIC: Radiohead, Trent Reznor, Jill Sobule… with historically built-in fan bases, these artists make giving music away for free, DIY fundraising packages and social media marketing look easy. But what if you’re a complete unknown? Where do you start?

DONALD PASSMAN: MANY ARTISTS ARE NOW STARTING WITH A VERY GRASS ROOTS LEVEL. THEY BUILD A FANBASE BY GIVING AWAY THINGS (PINS, STICKERS, ETC.) AT THEIR SHOWS IN EXCHANGE FOR AN EMAIL ADDRESS, THEN THEY STAY IN TOUCH WITH THEIR FANS ON A REGULAR BASIS, BUILDING A FOLLOWING UNTIL IT REACHES CRITICAL MASS.

OM: Because so many artists have been quick to attempt the above model, “free” may, in fact, be dead. Now that we expect it; where’s the value in that? Which then begs the question []

A Triple-A radio programming veteran, Kate has served as Music Director of the Loft at XM, Midday Host at WYEP, Evening Host at both WNCS and WUIN, as well as Content Supervisor for Pump Audio. Currently, she’s the CEO of Outlandos Music, a new-music discovery service for grown-ups. Kate has been nationally recognized for her ardent presentation of music and her ability to champion talented, compelling artists.

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