"The question here is whether an artist could not write a song, perform it and have it distributed and sold without the help of a record label," he said. "In the past, the answer was no. Today, the answer is yes."
Start-ups such as TopSpin, ReverbNation and TuneCore enable bands to circumvent record labels and directly sell to their fans. In recent years, established artists, including Radiohead, Paul McCartney and Nine Inch Nails, have dropped their contracts with major labels and opted for alternative distributors.