There seem to be three main approaches that independent artists take to the idea of record labels these days.
The first is that record labels are the best way to get your music out to the public. The internet is all well and good, and we are in favour of it, but people in record labels know what they are doing, they understand marketing, they have things like connections, promotion strategies, radio pluggers, PR, graphic design, branding, distribution, chart registration, barcodes, licensing, finance, and deals on pressing all sorted out. We’re going with them. 20% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
The second is that we live in a post-label world. We are all about DIY. There may be artists signed to record labels and that’s fine for them, I suppose… but this is a brave new era and we’re going to self-release. We’re not unsigned – we’re independent. We have all of the tools at our disposal to record, release, distribute, promote and make money from our music on our own terms, beholden to nobody, keeping all of the intellectual property and making all of the profits ourselves. We’ll do it on a tight budget, but we’ll do it because we are empowered to do so.
The third can be broadly categorised thus: We’re going to release through a Netlabel. As soon as we can figure out what a Netlabel is, that’s what we’re going to do.