How to Achieve the Perfect Music Release

Learn some of the essentials you need to consider when releasing your new music… 

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As an indie artist, the power is very much in your hands when it comes to releasing music in 2022.

Increasing numbers are choosing to self-release which can be exciting and daunting in equal measure.  As this report from 2021 says, over 60,000 tracks are uploaded to Spotify every day. Which is a huge amount of music to compete with. 

Our Digital Marketing degrees can help prepare you to master this side of the business and help you ensure you get your music heard (and more). In the meantime, let's unpick some of the essentials you need to consider when looking to achieve the perfect music release… 

Consider how the release fits in your music career

When thinking about the best ways to release your music, ask yourself how it will deepen your connection with your audience.

Think about what you want to achieve with the release, how it will tell more of your story as an artist and establish your brand."

Ask yourself why you want to release music and why now is the right time to do it. If it doesn't feel like the best moment, then hold back. 

Give yourself plenty of time to perfect your release strategy

You need to prepare yourself to release your music. If you don’t, then it’s likely that you will release new tracks without anyone paying much attention. 

After you’ve finished the recording and production side of the process, you should then aim to set aside at least one or two months before release date to get everything in order. Put together a task list with different jobs - this can range from writing your press kit to updating all your social media profiles, finding a distributor and setting up a live show to celebrate the release. The more time you give yourself, the better prepared you’ll be to make the most of this exciting phase of your music career. And if anything does go awry, then you’ll hopefully have enough time to fix this without too many bumps in the road.

Release single tracks first 

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During the early stages of your career, releasing albums and EPs can be time consuming and costly. This applies to their creation, but then how you go about promoting and marketing them too. With single tracks, you have more flexibility and, in a world of short attention spans, can be rewarded by the algorithm on streaming services for dropping individual tracks. 

If you do have a body of work such as an album, then consider drip-feeding songs as teasers or trailers ahead of the full length release. You can use single tracks to showcase different styles or even collaborators. 

Particularly when taking your initial steps into the industry, focusing on individual tracks and getting the process of releasing them right before moving onto a bigger project can be a sensible place to start. 

Get all your marketing assets together 

From social media videos to press release material, give yourself enough time to create your promotional assets. You should ensure your social media profiles are set up, optimised and active with relevant links and imagery included.

During the recording and making of any music, you should capture the process with video and photos.

You can use various types of video to promote your music - from live performance videos to lyric videos, a mixture of content styles can engage audiences in different ways."

Key promotional assets any artist should have lined up ahead of their release date include:

  • an engaging and error-free biography
  • active social media channels 
  • good quality photos (these don’t need to be professionally done - just on brand and interesting)
  • a well-researched list of press, radio, and/or playlisting contacts
  • links to stream or download the music (consider setting up a private stream ahead of the release date on Soundcloud) 

Other pieces of content you plan to include in your promotions, such as a music video or release announcement graphic, also need to be created. 

Then make sure you distribute them correctly 

If you’re adding content to YouTube, then ensure that your videos are tagged properly with relevant website links included in the description.

If you’re sharing content via social media, remember to optimise your posts with the relevant profile tags and hashtags. If you’re looking to contact press or music bloggers, then ensure you have all the relevant email addresses ahead of time. Without a personal contact at a website, then it's unlikely your email will be read or engaged with. Also, consider how you present yourself as a band or artist. This is where your assets should come in. 

On social media, you can develop a strategy around your content to ensure a steady stream of posts to hopefully increase engagement and ramp up interest in your forthcoming release. 

Work with a distributor - or not  

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Indie artists have different options when it comes to the release of their music. They can choose to work with an independent distributor such as Ditto Music or TuneCore. By adding your music to these platforms, you can reach fans on major streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer and more, access analytics on the performance of your music and receive royalties. These distributors can be great to work with as they do a huge amount of the hard work in ensuring your music is available everywhere. 

Alternatively, you can take an alternative route by self-releasing and using platforms such as Bandcamp or SoundCloud.

If you are going to use a distributor, then compare the different features they offer. Some might even let you have a free trial of the service which can be a great way of seeing whether this is a good fit for you. 

Create hype around your release 

Once a release date is locked in, then plot your route to it and how you are going to create hype around the release.

Put together a content and social media plan to make sure you are letting your community know about the arrival of this new music to get them as excited as possible." 

You could begin this campaign a few weeks ahead of the release and share any of the promotional assets you've come up with. If you have a mailing list, then keep your community updated ahead of the release. 

On the release day activity 

If you're looking to tease your audience, then you could set a countdown on an Instagram story post around the moment your new music will be released to the world. If you're launching on YouTube too, then you can also use their premiere feature to let your fans experience the moment a new track goes live. Alternatively, you could choose to debut this on an online music website such as the Line of Best Fit

A launch event or listening party for your project helps give fans a unique experience and interaction with your new music. Make sure you have the physical copies and merchandise ready for the event. You also need to consider the best ways to promote the event too.

Monitor and review what worked and what didn't

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The main two websites for tracking streaming stats are Spotify for Artists and Apple Music for Artists (as long as you have released your music on these platforms).

If you have, then use the dashboards provided by these websites to look at information surrounding the performance of your music. You should be able to see who has listened to your music, checked out your profile and who else they listen to. This kind of data can help inform forthcoming strategies around future releases, a tour or how you promote yourself on social media. 

You can also monitor how many followers you have, music streaming stats and playlist adds. 

Deep dive into the evolving world of digital marketing

Our digital marketing degrees will help you gain a richly detailed understanding of digital marketing fundamentals and specialisms. You'll become a master of online content — someone who knows how to reach and influence people through multiple digital platforms.

To completely immerse yourself in your creative career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Digital Marketing
by ICMP staff writer
March 10, 2022
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