Reznor described the reason for his newly minted agreement with Sony Music recently with David Byrne:
The above sounds more like Reznor was more tired of the DIY thing than anything else, and that's fair enough, but the fact of the matter is that the major labels are the only ones that have the infrastructure capable of either elevating an artist to, or maintaining superstardom. If an artist is going to break world-wide, that's still the way to go.
Now I don't want to come off as an apologist for the major labels because I'm far from it. I believe that until you're at a point in your career when you have some leverage, it's best to stay away from a label and do as much as you can yourself. Signing too early does an artist no good. But if you have a measure of success, that means that you can certainly be in a position for not only a better deal, but more attention from the label as well.
Not only that, after doing so much of the grunt work yourself, you're so much better at determining if the label is doing a good job or not, and helping them to do the best they can. It can be a win-win under the right circumstances.
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