There was a great article in Sunday's Boston Globe about new artists going the do-it-yourself route for launching and maintaining their artistic careers. This applies to many endeavors: writers, musicians, painters, cartoonists. anyone who produces art for consumption by others.
They profiled Louis C.K., a comedian who is doing all the work of posting his material online and booking his shows, including ticket sales. A lot of work.
And Amanda Palmer, a musician, who raised over a million dollars with a crowdsourcing Kickstart venture, the first musician to do so. How cool is that!
There are many others as well. This is an incredible time, to be able to do this, and have complete control over your career, and not have to rely on "being discovered" by the major distributors. Many musicians have been ruined by their label, who insisted on a particular sound, when the band wanted a different direction. Many a writer was constrained by contract to keep producing a similar book, year after year.
The problem with being owned by a large corporation is that they want to make money from the artist, and will often control the output. But art should happen at the whim of the one creating the content, not by some suit in a boardroom looking at a poll or chart of what they think will sell that month.
It's a great time to be a content creator. You can now reach an audience over the Internet, instead of relying on corporate-owned distribution and selling channels. Viva la revolution! You get to go direct, and cut out all middlemen, if you so desire.