Let's get down to the bottom line. The record business has changed. The manner in which royalties are distributed, deals are made, and bands signed to major labels is in a state flux at this time. I would argue that the availbility of information and contacts, as a result of the internet, and ability to market one's muic with mp3's have helped to create this situation.
It seems that record companies, which should be called CD or music companies, are no longer signing "new acts." Instead, they seem to be turning to indie labels and signing acts that have a track record of progress.
I would argue the impending new area for competition will be between indie labels, management companies, and the majors over the distribution and acquisition of 360 Deals (or all rights contracts) for more established acts. The reality is...... KEEP GRINDING because the indies are always looking, while the majors are not really signing new talent; and you have to be somewhat established and known to get into the REAL music business...... not the "underground."
For more information on how this blog came to be, please visit The Economist and the article, "A change of tune" at http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9443082.