Technology site Ars Technica has put together a lengthy feature on the new batch of bands who are eschewing labels and taking advantage of digital distribution and online promotion to manage their own careers.
One of the band's featured is Chicago-based shoegaze act Panda Riot, who comment:
The struggle is no longer getting it there, but trying to market and promote once it is there. It's all social network type stuff. Blogs are a huge part of the equation too, and Internet Radio (like WOXY.com) also plays a big role. It's all about finding avenues that are global.
Interestingly, the band sees file sharing as more of a marketing tool than a problem to be avoided. The band noted:
At first, we were going to send a takedown notice, but then we decided to keep it up and see what happens. Well, our sales doubled. The funny thing is that we've actually had people say to our faces, 'Yeah, I downloaded your album off some website. It's awesome!' It basically translates to 'I stole your music and I like it.'
The article cautions that this is a "results not typical" type of situation however, and does not necessarily suggest that file sharing will work for every artist regardless of size.
The article provides an even-handed view of things from the perspective of a small artist and the various opportunities and challenges that they face in the Internet era. You can check it out here.