History and current sceneEdit
Many unsigned artists used to sell their music and music-related merchandise without the financial support of a record label, while often seeking a recording contract through the recording of demos. Recently, the Internet has helped promote independent artistic material. Artists tend to post their music on websites such as MySpace, and ILike, and sometimes have their music played on podcast shows like Kooba Radio. In recent times, artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead, who once had major label record deals, have started to release their music independently.
Various musicians remain independent in their beginning of their music career but later on get a record deal and continue as a signed musician. But this concept changed when major artists such as The Eagles and Nine Inch Nails became independent and parted their ways with record labels such as Interscope.
A lot of services are offered to independent musicians like Cdbaby, CreateSpace, Feiyr, Nimbit, Tunecore, Zimbalam etc. by which the artists can retain the copyrights of their songs and also deliver their music to various stores including iTunes Store, Amazon MP3, Napster, Spotify etc.
Major record company Universal Music entered into a joint venture with Tunecore to distribute albums online on major stores. According to the agreement, Tunecore will provide distribution portals for UMG's labels, while UMG will provide "marketing and upstreaming opportunities within the UMG Distribution system." The record labels which entered into venture are Interscope(Interscope Digital Distribution), Universal Motown (Unimo Digital Distribution), Island Def Jam (IDJ FirstLook) and Universal Republic (Republic Digital Distribution). Island Def Jam Music Group partnered with Tunecore to launch IDJ Firstlook, a new web portal that provides unsigned artists with potential access to such coveted major label services as worldwide distribution and marketing.
Independent vanity record labelsEdit
Artist can also create their own record labels and sell their music and other stuff under the labels imprint too. Services such as Nimbit gives facilities for independent musicians to release their music independently as well as under a record label create by artist itself. Other efforts made in this field include Magnatune, an independent record label based in Berkeley, United States.
Notable unsigned artists Edit
Notable artists not signed to a label include Nine Inch Nails, formerly of Interscope Records, Marilyn Manson, formerly of Interscope Records and Nothing and Radiohead, formerly of Parlophone Records who have a distribution deal with TBD Records but are not signed to the label.