Originally Posted by Histronics
Depends, at least with a self release I can get payed. Most labels just pocket all the money and never pay their artists. A label gets me promotion, but these big youtube channels can get me even more since they are the size of big labels. I could just pay a mastering engineer myself. But the downsize is recouping the costs of that.
The costs are pretty affordable on a per track basis, you can find much around the $45USD mark...and Pretty sure Benwaa will do it for 15 Euros
It's useful to diversify your portfolio with multiple ways and channels through which to release your music; labels AND direct sales.
The nice part about the label taking all the profits (well 95%), is they have a financial stake in your music being more successful as a result. If the label is good, puts out known artists within a particular genre, gets lots of blog play, DJ support, etc, that can go a long way for getting fans to those tracks that you master yourself and make all the profits on. With so many ways for people to get your sounds, it's more of a shotgun of exposure where you are more likely to get your sounds in front of more people as a result of the spread.
See also: remixing tracks for other artists.