The more I think about it, the less likely it seems that major labels are going to really suffer as a result of the kind of digital empowerment going on. In the short term, they are certainly slow-moving, because huge companies take waves of shock and response in order to transform themselves, but in the end they will remain powerhouses of reputation, glamour, and of course, money. I think that a lot of chatter about the accessibility of the internet sometimes implies that since the playing field is leveling out, the spread of earnings will follow suit. This is not so, because bands who find success independently will inevitably drift towards the larger, global temptations of fame and glory.
Right? It's one of those things where "selling out" becomes an issue even for the people who swore they never would.
Don't get me wrong, I most certainly know that the internet has changed a lot of things about the opportunities available to musicians. I myself am a product of such change. What I am saying though is that the Big Men On Campus are still the hotshots, and I don't see a lot of people shift their thinking away from these kinds of high-school power politics. I want to see more people who are just completely uninterested in this or that Warner A&R scout. Only then will the realities become tangible in a bigger way.