Benefits of Online Distribution
Online distribution not only gives an artist 100% creative control, it also allows them to open up to the worldwide audience, reaching far flung places that otherwise would be unlikely.
What's important in the online environment is creating initial interest for your music and then finding as many paths to spread it as quickly as possible i.e. forums, chatrooms, playlists etc.
Normal distributors would only cover one area i.e. UK only or USA only. Online distribution enables fans from all corners of the globe instant access to your work, whenever, wherever, without paying ridiculous prices for imports.
Having full control of the distribution process allows you to determine profit margins and most importantly you get to keep most of the money.
You are also able to gain invaluable information such as sales figures for different regions. This information could be useful if you are planning to tour (no point in booking venues in regions where no-one buys your music).