The business of music has three major components: production, marketing, and distribution. The major labels were able to control the music business by controlling these three components through symbiotic relationships between recording studios, music press, retailers, merchandisers, radio stations, and performance venues. This enabled them to lock the three components into a package that was provided to the musicians who signed with them. However, recording artists have become increasingly dissatisfied with the terms enforced by major labels in return for this package, including recording restrictions, retained revenues, ownership and control of the music, and restricted marketing options. While the Internet provides a way for artists to market their music direct to consumers without having to chain themselves to a binding, lengthy, and often inequitable recording contract, freedom of distribution is not the same thing as effective marketing, and independent musicians who move their business online will need to create effective links to consumers they can distribute to. Recording technology placed a distance between performer and listener; however, fans still maintained a connection with the musician as "symbolic links were developed to maintain a sense of commonality between performer and listener, and create a community among fans." The development of social networking provided a way to restore those links in a more tangible form, and independent musicians are using social networking sites such as MySpace to connect directly with their fan base without the intermediation of a major label.
The Business of Entertainment: Volume 2: Popular Music p. 121-131