The record business is a tricky thing. We all hate the record companies, and for the most part in the last 10 years they’ve promoted nothing but crap, one hit wonders. They no longer let bands do their own thing with their albums, and let bands develop. However, historically record companies push for music to get to radio, which gets people to hear, which makes or breaks bands. I hate record companies as much as the next guy, but if you strictly leave it up to the internet, its such a disorganized superpot of stuff, that it’d be hard to promote bands that way. So free albums, albums in the newspaper probably help established bands, but if you’re a band looking to get big, it might not be so helpful.