This shift has also changed what it means to be an artist.The traditional record industry has strongly reinforced a belief that artists should just be artists. As creators of cultural content, artists were told they should not have to worry themselves with how they are engaging with their audience; these activities were viewed as disturbances to their creative energy. But as we know, the age of the aloof artist, disconnected from his audience or not even knowing them at all, is long gone. It is not that there cannot be artists who center mainly on the process of creation, but for every artist that is not willing do get more deeply involved with their careers, there are many, many more who are willing to do the hard work.
Long essay by Kyle Bylin with many good points and references.