San Francisco-based indie One Little Indian has launched a new online marketing division dubbed Digital First, in which albums will receive a heavy online marketing push before being released to physical retailers. Digital First releases will be serviced to online stores via the label's relationship with Caroline Distribution.

While every One Little Indian artist will receive the benefits of the new marketing division, only select albums will be distributed online prior to seeing a physical release. The plan is to eventually build enough online attention, as well as secure some digital sales, to help fuel awareness at physical retailers, says One Little Indian managing director Celia Hirschman.

"Digital First artists have the benefit of concentrated online marketing to build a platform for consumers to become interested in their work in advance of a physical CD," Hirschman says. "It's extraordinarily difficult for brick-and-mortar retail to buy into new records from artists who haven't built drivers to bring consumers to a purchase. We're hoping we can build these drivers online to work in tandem with our physical retail partners."

The first Digital First One Little Indian US release is the Swedish rock band import, Surrounded, with their album, "The Nautilus Years," to be released June 5.