First - This record is absolutely awesome. Currently number two on my AOTY list.
Second - I think it's both the way of the future, but it's definitely a rare occurrence because the industry's not quite there yet. Everyday is still a struggle with labels, cloud service, file sharing, bootlegging, etc. I think down the road, bands won't need labels, but to do it now and be as successful as they have it shows that what I personally believe about bands is still true... you have to be good. They wouldn't be nearly as successful as they are if they weren't as good as they are.
Very true. The record is phenomenal.