I think it’s important to understand netlabels in their musical context – which is mostly electronic music, with some exceptions that usually cover other niche genres. Electronica musicians are for the most part socialized by labels as not just curators, but also epicenters of musical phenomenons. There’s no way to talk about Cologne Techno without mentioning Kompakt, just to pick one example, and it’s completely normal for record stores that cater to DJs to sort their records not by artists, but by labels. At the same time, these “labels” were and are oftentimes just that: Labels for a certain sound or a certain group of people, with the actual physical distribution mattering less than the sound and the people that represent it. Of course you could also call it collective – but that wouldn”t really change much. Not in the context of electronic music, at least.