A handful of smaller record companies are leveling the field and changing the rules

As recently discussed in the LA Times, new music industry practices are not only proving more cost effective for small, independent labels, but are resulting in exposure levels only previously attainable by the big record companies.

L.A.’s big-league independents — labels such as Dangerbird, Alpha Pup or Stones Throw — have discovered the beauty of diversification. They combine standard label operations with artist management, album mastering, merchandising, licensing and promotion. Their charge is to become the only entity a band needs to satisfy its commercial and financial needs, including record and MP3 sales, film and television placements and even T-shirts.

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