HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU RELEASE MUSIC?
Updated: Aug 6, 2021
How often should you release music? Do you know how many releases per year to put out, how regularly to release your music? This has a huge impact on your music career, so, let's consider the options.
This is one of the questions my clients ask me frequently. How many records they should be releasing and how often.
There's a lot of debate around whether to release a full album versus an EP versus singles and if you don't know what the difference between those is, a full album also known as an LP is a long play record which is a collection of songs something like ten or more songs and that is a great format in which to bundle an entire body of work.
An EP is an extended play record which is a few songs generally up to three or four, some people call up to six songs and EP and there are no hard fast rules there.
A single is one single song and that could just be an original version of a song or it could be accompanied by some remixes so essentially that would mean two, three or up to four songs could still be a single if it's one original and a few remixes of that same song.
For clarity, the point of a remix is to take your song to a different and/or wider audience. So if you make an indie psychedelic rock song and you also want to reach a drum and bass audience, you would get a drum and bass artist to do a remix in order to reach their audience.
So when it comes to how many releases you should put out a year it depends on what you plan to achieve. There are pros and cons for each kind of release and it comes down to investment essentially, so let's just talk about sheer quantity.
In today's market where streaming is the most popular way for people to consume music, albums don't always make the most sense but they can still be great if you have a strategy in place to market and promote the album to get longevity out of it.
If you have music videos and a variety of methods of getting that album in front of people for an extended period of time, like six months to a year, perhaps you want to sell physical copies on vinyl and/or CD, then a full album is definitely the way to go.
My own album was sold out of CDs in it's first week (in Sept 2019) so I repressed it and ran that campaign for two months and when complete, I moved over to a digital campaign, pushing the full project as well as each individual single through different PR and marketing strategies.
When it comes to releasing more frequently, once a month is good for original singles or at least once every two months for singles with remixes and EPs. You want to give each record some longevity, so if you only have the assets to promote a single for four weeks then after that period you want another record to generate more news and more content to share with your fans.
With an EP that consists of four to six songs, you can create more assets which which enables you to promote that record for a longer period of time. For example, an EP of 4 to 6 songs could be promoted for three to six months quite easily and therefore you wouldn't need to release quite as often.
If you are a dance music or an electronic music artist (or a band open to remixes of your work) then it is easier to stretch a releases campaign over a longer period of time because you are able to release an original and in a month, release the music video and in another month, release a deep house remix and another month down the line, release another remix etc. Each song, remix, video, story, interview, artwork etc is another asset that is loaded with potential for you to get more traction over a longer period of time, lengthening the shelf life of your record.
If you plan on having an album worth of music put out in a year, that could be twelve singles, one released each month throughout the year. You could also commission remixes for certain singles to get more traction out of them and perhaps music videos for the others.
Less frequent releases will require more assets to further your reach and keep you on top of your fans minds. If you release every two months, for example, you can make your gigs for those two months be all about that one song that you're marketing.
As you can see, there are many options and they will be determined by your budget, time, productivity and imagination. Each artists strategy is unique and your plans must make sense so that when you are are reaching your audience with your music, they're clear on what's happening in your music career and are absolutely loving each project that you put out.
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