As the time goes by, labels will be lucky if they’re still getting artists signed, sites like Bandcamp and YouTube empower artists to go directly to their fans.
The tools at hand no longer create barriers for non popular genres to reach their audiences, the adoption and advance of smartphones and mobile networks will make it even easier to distribute content to your fans, right to the palm of their hand.
I believe the long tail of music taste is a far bigger market than the one the big labels have been focused on all these years, and that long tail is very reachable today by anybody with internet access (which is starting to spread massively on mobile devices).
When most content creators in the planet realize this, the attention of file sharers will be scarce and I think it will come to a point on which they’ll be willing to pay to reach the very audiences that will care about their work, at that point they will pay to share (think Google Adwords for content). Relevant discovery and recommendation tools are be very important for the massive amount of independent content being created every day.
Bands already want to share, Creative Commons licenses are here to show us what copyright should be like on the internet, The tables are turning and the channels are here and getting better and better.
Now extrapolate to every form of content.