How to prepare for a music release?
It’s easy to simply click upload and call it a day when it comes to releasing your music. However, with 60,000 songs being released every day on Spotify, a simple upload button will not help you to break through the noise of the music industry.
Hence, before releasing a single, you should plan a music release ahead of time to secure your launch’s success rate. We also have an article on the four music release strategies you shouldn’t miss this year. Nevertheless, here are steps for a music release that you need to consider.
1. Set your release date
Not any date will work for any music release. For instance, you wouldn’t want to publish a Christmas song during summertime right? For a release plan, the element of timeliness is crucial for any artist. You want to pick a period when it’s the best fit for your music release’s theme and meaning.
If it’s a love song, release it on Valentine's day, or if it’s a thrilling song, release it on Halloween. By being strategic with your music release date, you increase the chances of people streaming your song.
Nevertheless, if your song doesn’t carry the exact theme of any specific date, you can just release it when your music campaign is ready for release. To learn more, check out our article on how to launch a music campaign.
2. Send your media outreach
Once you’re set foot on your release date, it’s time for you to prepare to do some networking to get your song out there. Before your song even reaches the listeners, it’s always wise to send out your demo and press release to the media outlet, radio station, and playlist curator first.
If you’re unfamiliar with this practice, go read our article on how to network in the music industry. Before your release day, you need some media exposure for your release which is always important for a music release.
1. Prepare your electronic press kit (EPK)
Every artist needs an electronic press kit (EPK). An EPK acts as an overview of what the artist can offer to music professionals. By reading your EPK, the contacts can decide whether you’re the right match for their platform.
Hence, it is vital for you to clearly express your brand identity and music artist so that the contacts can have the best understanding of who you are. Thus, it’s your job to make that EPK the most attractive as possible and stay true to your musical identity. Don’t worry if you don’t have an EPK yet, you can learn more through our guide on how to make an EPK.
2. Get your pitch ready
Similar to an EPK, you need to get your pitch on the new release ready. You don’t want to stutter when presenting your new music release to a music professional such as music blogs. By being prepared for your pitch, you will be more confident convincing not only your distributors like radio stations and Spotify playlist curators but also your audience to hear your new release. Moreover, this can also help when you start creating social content for your release.
3. Build your social content
1. Update your bio
Among millions of content to update during a music release, your bio is one of the most important things. As the bio is the first section of your audience’s discovery phase, it should include the most up-to-date information about you and your discography.
You never want to give the impression of an artist being inactive toward your potential fan. Thus, this makes updating your bio more important than ever.
2. Create your content timeline
We have to admit - that creating content can be daunting and tiresome (you can ask our content writer about that). However, a content timeline is the best tool to build up your social content without it being too overwhelming. You don’t want to battle yourself over Instagram Stories.
Thus, you can start by sectioning your content into weeks and you can input and organize your content accordingly. We will have an article that covers how to build a content timeline for independent artists, you can sign-up for our newsletter to be our early bird once it gets released.
4. Pick your distribution channels
As an artist, you always have to be strategic when it’s time to pick your distribution channels. There are many options in picking distribution channels - you can either manually do it or a service that offers a full package for you (Spotify, Apple Music, etc). Each of the pros and cons but we do recommend you to choose a service as it will help you to better track your release progress.
If you do choose to do it manually, Spotify for Artist and Soundcloud Go+ can be a great start for you to learn more about how to distribute your music. Once you familiarize yourself with the platform, you can try and explore different ones - but keep in mind to track everything.
5. Allocate your budget
After you’re finalized almost everything, it’s time for both the most important and the most hated part of your music release campaign - the financing. The good news is that we do have an article on how to make money as an artist that you check out.
After getting your finance ready, here are the three main components of a music release that you should allocate your budget:
a. Music licensing
Despite how dry this topic may sound, you must get it done before your music release. The reason is that you can only collect your royalties from streaming services once your music is licensed. If this concept is fairly new to you, don’t worry since we did cover it with our article on how to license your music.
For independent artists, we always recommend using a music license service like CD Baby to help you license your works. The fee is almost always cheaper than you’re doing all that licensing paperwork yourself.
b. Visual creative
Before they’re able to hear how good your song is, they would see your full album/single’s cover first. As a result, you need to step up your visual game when it comes to presenting your single.
You can either hire a freelancer or ask a designer friend to come up with a proper set of concepts for your music release. The more original and cohesive your visual creatives are, the better your release will perform. Some of the creatives you need to get done before your music release are:
Album/single’s art cover
Promo photos (your portrait, backstage photos, performance photos, etc.)
Social design (profile picture and cover photo)
c. Music promotion
For every release, you need to do music promotion to amplify your release’s reach. There is little to zero chance that an audience randomly stumbles across your release. Thus, any music release needs to have proper music promotion strategies in place. To learn more, check out our complete guide for music promotion.
The best place for your budget when it comes to promoting your music is through social ads. As social media has become a part of our daily lives, promoting your release through social ads can amplify your reach.
To help with music releases, you can run ads for your music using music promotion services like Base for Music - generating sponsored campaigns across social networks such as Facebook, TikTok, Youtube, and Spotify.
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