An unsigned artist, unsigned band or independent artist is a musician or musical group not under a contract with a record label. The terms are used in the music industry as a marketing technique. Bands that release their own material on self-published CDs can also be considered unsigned bands. Often unsigned bands primarily exist to perform at concerts.
In more recent years, the Internet has helped promote the music of unsigned bands. Artists often post their music as MP3s on websites such as Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Myspace, PureVolume, GarageBand.com, Tunecrank.com and SoundClick.
In 2016, the Unsigned Music Awards was established in the UK as the first ever televised international awards ceremony to champion artists without the backing of a record label.
UK unsigned bands and musicians are able to use such services as The Unsigned Guide and to gather music industry contact names, phone numbers, websites and social media links, as well as information on how to get signed or market music independently.
Song pitching websites, such as TAXI allow unsigned musicians to see which record labels (and other music companies) are currently seeking new music.
Further, companies like Sentric Music and the royalty payment service offered by Last.fm can help in generating income streams for unsigned bands.
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