Often labels will approach a distributor to act as a middleman between themselves and retailers. Traditional distribution is about taking orders for and supplying CDs (or other physical product) from record labels to retail, although their role can be more complex and they may also promote and invest in releases. Digital distributors (see ‘Aggregators’) serve online stores (such as iTunes) in a similar fashion, handling downloadable releases by many labels at the same time and ensuring they are supplied to all the different online outlets.

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