When I was starting out as a musician almost thirty years ago, the ultimate goal everybody always had was to "get signed". That was what made you a rock star.
Over the years, I've had several friends who were "signed", only to find out that it was a bigger hindrance than help. In fact, getting signed to a label ended the careers of several people I know.
I've said for a long time now that there's no real benefit for an artist to be "signed" any more. Advances had to be paid back out of your end as an artist. Record an album? You pay. Tours? You pay. And with the advent of iTunes, Amazon, and services like BandCamp, CD Baby, and TuneCore, artists can have complete control not only of what they release, but how.
Michael Lefsetz has been on the same train of though as I have. In this latest article, he says in part:
"the Internet killed the major label distribution stranglehold. Anyone can sign up with Tunecore and get their music on iTunes. ANYBODY! Sure, the music won't sell, except to family and friends, but it's what this represents that's important. Access and the ability to get paid. The power has shifted.
As for terrestrial radio...it means ever less. Same with TV. You can thank technology, most especially the Internet, for that. People watch what they want when they want. The days of sitting in front of the TV seeing what's next are heading towards extinction, killed by the DVR and online access."
Read the rest here:
I'll just add:
"...never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee" - John Donne