The music publishing and licensing industry (vastly different from the actual creators, mind you) isn't as straightforward as people believe it to be. Music licenses are extremely tricky and (often) subject to the whims of the publishing labels.
There is no standard rate for a licensing specific tracks (or set of tracks) and the licenses that are available in the market are either too broad and expensive or too narrow and useless.
The entertainment industry in general is a mess - nobody knows how to handle the internet as a viable platform and nobody is willing to risk their profits to attempt and make mistakes either. They are trying to force an outdated method built for a one-way channel (needle-hour plays) on a platform that primarily believes in two-way interactivity.
In other words, they are trying to license content by syndication in a world where RSS, APIs and interactive conversations are the norm - not only is it a ridiculously laughable concept, but it goes against the very grain of the entire thing.
The whole entertainment publishing and licensing industry is in dire need of an overhaul. Unfortunately, the question everyone is too busy asking, is the question everyone should be trying to answer together: "Who will bell the cat?"
Last.fm promised to be a service not simply for listening to music, but for people who love music, and openly critical of the state of the music industry.
Of course all of that changed when they sold to CBS. After that, nothing else seemed to matter but selling subscriptions to the radio service whilst playing nice with the industry. A service which also stopped evolving, and had it's lunch easily eaten by Spotify. Which has to deal with the same licensing mess, but for some reason was already doing a better job when they were still a small startup.
Last.fm gave up a long time ago. And now that Spotify seems to be getting a grip on the recommendations, I don't see Last.fm having any future whatsoever.
It was actually just one asshole who couldn't admit he was wrong. He even told as much at one point towards the end, that he would sooner lose everything he invested than backpedal on his initial decisions.
Just a jackass with too much money.
I'd regard this as having three areas you'd "score" to decide: Financial impact on me, Personal impact on me (including reputation), impact on others. If "impact on others" is a non-issue for you and the personal financial impact isn't much compared to your personal wealth, you could easily make your decision on something like this based entirely on ego.
Not caring about the impact on others may be a bit sociopathic, but there's nothing criminal about that and in fact there are quite a few very successful CEOs and financiers who just don't give a rat's ass about the little people.
Your comment does seem to apply to the TV and Film industry though. An indie film equivalent of Bandcamp would be great. Bollocks to the current movement with their film festivals and limited screenings, at least make a fucking effort to be accessible.
With movies and TV on the other hand, you're right as well. It's a mess - even more so as a non-american. Even independent creators are doing it wrong: Tried buying the movie/documentary Teenage the other day - no download/buy option, instead screening in a handful of US cities. Good luck getting my money with that approach.
However there are also good examples like Computer Chess or Sleepwalk With Me, which let you buy a DRM-free download.
There are regional restrictions, just like every other streaming service. If you are already in a "blessed region", you already have access to all the other services.
There is still the concept of renting, which is just another way of saying "DRM". You can "rent", but by doing so you are limited to viewing it in the way they dictate and for only a limited time. What's worse, some films only give you this option.
For me, that's sort of missing the entire point.
Don't even need to restrict yourself to indie. I've got a Spotify Premium account that my wife sometimes hijacks to listen to at her business. Since you can only listen on one mobile device at a time, I'll just hop on Grooveshark if she stole Spotify. I've never not been able to find what I was looking for on Spotify on Grooveshark, and often it has songs in the catalog that Spotify does not.