This paper examines micro-independent record companies, mostly set up by musicians according to the Do It Yourself (DIY) principle. They serve as distribution channels for counter-mainstream, often local, music. This paper discusses the characteristics of micro-(DIY) independents in the Netherlands and their rationale and motives in the context of persisting uncertainties in the music market. Earlier research (Hesmondhalgh 1998b, 1999, Strachan 2003, 2007) on micro-independents in the UK demonstrates their typical moral or political motivations, aiming to counter the hegemony of the capitalist mainstream music industry. The analysis is based on business information and open (qualitative) interviews with 14 companies in Netherlands. The paper shows that DIY-independents want to contribute to broadening the supply of contemporary music. By releasing indie genres and engaging in the associated social discourse, they differentiate themselves from the commercial majors. Commercial or financial success is not considered important and they adhere to collectivist ideologies. However, they do not aim to resist the dominance of the major music industry.

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Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Hitters, E., & den Drijver, R. (2017). The Business of DIY. Characteristics, motives and ideologies of micro-independent record labels. Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia, 5(1), 17–35. Retrieved from