When planning for a release, there are many tasks to be done. Some of these can be done independently and others require help from others. The following is a checklist of things you should consider when going through the process of releasing an album:
When Is the Best Time to Release An Album, Single, Or EP?
Let’s start with the song itself. When you write a song, you should always be thinking of the theme, genre, and style of music that people will connect with. Then, use this as a guide when choosing your release date.
If it’s an upbeat summery track then perhaps July would be a good time to put it out there – if it’s an emotional ballad then December could be best. If there is any mention of the weather in the lyrics or the title of your single then take note: these themes can mean different things depending on where someone lives! For example: “It’s Raining” is perfect for those living in Canada but not so much for those living in Australia as we don’t have rain here… unless we’re experiencing flooding which isn’t quite what most people would consider ‘raining’.
Your target audience will also dictate when best to release your music! If they’re more likely to listen before going out at night time then early morning might be better than late evening; likewise, if they listen to while at work throughout the day then daytime would probably be more suitable than nighttime hours even though everyone has different preferences! This means that knowing your target audience is key when planning releases because if they don’t match up with their listening habits then no one will hear it!
There are a lot of things to do before you release your album. We’re going to break them down into steps and explain how you can get your release ready for the market.
- Set a Release Date: Decide what date to release your album or single based on when it will have the greatest impact on marketing, promotion, and publicity campaigns; whether you want an album launch party; or if there is any particular event that relates to the release (a birthdate or holiday).
- Budgeting: Make sure you have enough money saved up to fund everything related to releasing an album including budgeting for packaging costs, production costs, distribution fees etcetera. 3. Preparing Your Music (or at least having some songs written): If you don’t already have some songs written, start working on some now so they are ready when it comes time for recording. 4. Merchandise Planning: If there is merchandise involved in your campaign such as t-shirts then make sure those are also prepared in advance. 5. Distribution/Claiming Your Artist Profile/Updating InformationThe goal here is to make sure everything from artist profiles on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, iTunes store listings etcetera all reflect accurate information about yourself so people will see legitimate artistry on these platforms.6 Upload Your Master Files To Streaming Services And Other Stores
Set a Release Date
The first step in creating your release plan is to set a release date.
This should be done as soon as possible after you have completed your album and are satisfied with the final product.
You need to consider several factors when choosing a release date:
- The season and holidays. Music sales are higher during certain times of the year, such as Christmas or summertime. If you want your album to sell well, follow this trend and plan accordingly (i.e., release it before or during Christmas). Similarly, if there is something else happening in the world that might affect consumers’ spending habits (like an election), learn what’s going on so that you can plan accordingly.
- Your competition’s release dates. Learn when their albums come out so that yours doesn’t conflict with theirs—that way people don’t have any reason not to buy yours instead!
- How much time will people have available for buying music during this period; I’m talking about all those busy professionals who don’t play instruments or know how to make beats… they’re busy folks! To determine this information, look at data from previous years’ releases–what kind of traffic did they get? How did sales numbers increase over time?
- What is your budget?
- How much do you have to spend?
- How much is your time worth, and what activities can you delegate or outsource?
- How much will it cost to print posters and mailers, make a video, host a release party and pay people for their work (i.e. graphic designer for artwork)?
Artwork – Album/Cover Art
Your album artwork should be high quality and relevant to the music. It may sound obvious, but it’s easy to forget that an image has to work in multiple contexts: on a thumbnail in Spotify, as a full-screen background on Apple Music, or as part of a montage during your live show.
While you’re at it, make sure your artwork is consistent with your brand and previous releases. A great example here would be Gorillaz: their art style has changed over time (for better or worse), but each release has a very distinctive look and feel that makes it instantly recognizable as theirs.
Be sure you have the right to use any images or other content featured on your album cover or in its artwork!
Preparing Your Music
The first thing you need to do is make sure your music is ready to release.
- Ensure that all of your music files are in the format expected by streaming services, physical/digital distributors, and retailers. If necessary, have them corrected before uploading or sending them out for manufacturing.
- Make sure that any metadata associated with your audio files (e.g., album titles, song titles) are correct and consistent across all platforms where those files will appear. Consistency is important for both searchability (in digital stores) and identification purposes (on social media).
- Consider making any artwork changes before submitting your music for release; artists often think that they can change their artwork after a project has been released with no negative consequences—but there are always consequences!
Merchandise is an incredibly effective way for musicians to earn money. It can be sold online, in stores, at concerts and events, and even on your website. Merchandise can be customized with a band’s name or logo and is often sold as posters or t-shirts.
The most successful artists have found ways to create unique merchandise that fans will want to buy again and again. For example, The Beatles released their first record in 1962 but didn’t start making $1 million until they started licensing their songs for use on Apple computers in 1976!
Distribution is the process of getting your music (and/or merch) in front of people. You can either do this yourself, or you can hire a distributor to do it for you. If you choose to do distribution yourself, keep in mind that it requires more time and money than hiring someone else. Distributors usually take a percentage of sales—usually anywhere from 10-40%. They may also be able to help with things like:
- Getting your music on streaming services
- Getting featured on radio stations or podcasts
Claim And Update Your Artist Profile On Stores
- Claim and update your artist profile in stores.
- Make sure the release is added to your artist profile. This will ensure that you can see all of your releases from a single source, which helps track sales and marketing efforts.
- Check if any updates need to be made to your profile before publishing it—for example, adding a new picture or updating the bio text.
Prepare Your Press Kit
A press kit is a collection of information about you and your music that you can send to journalists and labels. It should contain:
- A bio, which should include your name, how long you’ve been in the business, what instruments/songs/styles of music you perform (and write) and any other relevant info.
- Any photos or artwork that represent your band or solo act. If there are no photos on file from any previous releases (like an album cover), use promo shots instead — these can be professional or personal photos taken by fans at shows with permission from the person who took them. Keep in mind that some publications may not want to print specific images due to copyright concerns; if this happens to one of yours, ask a friend who doesn’t mind sharing it to take another shot at another time so they can replace the rejected photo with something else in their portfolio. If there are no images available at all because nothing has ever been released commercially before now then try using stock photography sites like Shutterstock or Unsplash instead – remember though that these aren’t free though so make sure whatever photo service costs less than printing out new copies every time someone requests one!
Compile Your Mailing List & Send Your Press Release/EPK
Your EPK is a comprehensive package of information about you and your work. It includes photos, videos, social media links and other details that help the press and fans get to know more about you as an artist.
When compiling your mailing list, it’s important to note that not all outlets are suitable for every type of release. For example, if you’re releasing an album or single, then most music journalists will be interested in reviewing it—but they won’t necessarily want to include an EPK in their review. On the other hand, if your release is a film soundtrack or short story collection (both non-music releases), then providing an EPK may make sense because these types of formats don’t usually include physical copies of the product being reviewed: In this case, reviewers need something else besides just audio/visual material so that readers can learn about who created it without having been sent anything physical themselves!
In either case though: If someone does request something more than just listening material from you before writing up their review on this particular project? Then please send them whatever else might be helpful so as not to waste anyone’s time!
Build The Hype
The first step to building hype is to release teasers that excite your fans. This can be anything from a simple video with a voiceover about the album, or you could share snippets of songs via social media. Once you’ve teased them enough, it’s time to engage with your fans directly through live streaming and Q&A sessions on various platforms such as Facebook Live, Periscope and Instagram Stories.
While you’re engaging with your audience online, sharing previews of tracks from the album is another great way to build excitement around your release before it goes live. You could also promote this by posting links on forums such as Reddit or Imgur where there are communities dedicated to discussing music releases—these sites are usually filled with people who want all the latest news about upcoming albums!
Getting press coverage for your new release is an important part of building hype too! Interviews, features in magazines and newspapers (online or in print), blogs written by other artists talking about how much they love yours too… all these things contribute towards making sure people know that something special is coming soon from YOU!
Release Day Activities
Before you throw yourself into promoting your new album, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into with your launch event. A launch event is a live concert or performance that takes place on the same day as the release of your music. It will have a guest list, invitations, and posters, but at its core, it’s still just another show. You will be playing your new songs for an audience just like any other show.
You should plan for this event months in advance if possible because it can be hard to book venues and find people willing to work with short notice. If you do manage to get everything set up in time for the release date though, it will help draw attention from people who might not have heard about your album yet: fans who attended previous shows (or maybe even friends-of-friends), press members covering music events around town and websites with reviews sections that cover local artists such as yours! In other words: this could be an opportunity worth seizing…
Pitching To Playlists
Once you’ve created a solid collection of music, it’s time to get your songs out there. Step one is pitching your music to playlists that are relevant to your genre and style. The best way to do this is by making a list of all the places you want your music on, then researching each one individually so that you can make sure that:
- Your music is high quality (no skipping or bad mixes)
- It fits the playlist’s genre
Now that you’ve released your album, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Follow up and response. You can use the release as an opportunity to engage with fans and build relationships with them through social media or email marketing campaigns. This can help create a stronger connection between you and your audience, which will hopefully lead them to purchase your next album once it comes out!
- Touring. If you have the funding for it, consider booking a concert tour; this will allow you to play live for fans who weren’t able to attend one of your shows at their local venue. Make sure that people know about these concerts well in advance so they have time to plan accordingly!
- Licensing agreements with streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music (when applicable). Registering music with relevant bodies such as BMI is also important if you want any chance at getting paid royalties later on down the road
Follow Up And Response
When you release an album, you need to follow up with everyone who might be interested. This includes your fans, press, radio stations and labels. It also includes other artists who might want to support your new music by performing it live or featuring it on their albums.
Touring is a great way to get your name out and make money, but it’s one of the most time-consuming parts of the release process. You need to book venues, hire a tour manager, book a bus, hire a driver and plan your flights. Then you need to book accommodation for yourself and anyone else who will be travelling with you on tour. The more people involved in your band or crew, the longer this process will take (and cost!). If you’re planning an international tour with multiple legs or countries along the way, things like visas can add even more time and expense to getting ready for release day.
Make sure to plan your release well and follow up.
A release is a big deal. It’s the culmination of months of work and first impressions are important. Make sure to plan your release well and follow up on it, because good planning leads to better results.
First, make sure you have a good plan for how you will market your album release. After that, make sure to follow up on the release by sending out email blasts, updating social media accounts with new content about yourself and getting reviews from critics who might be interested in writing about your music! Also remember: never forget about tour dates (or else no one will buy tickets)!
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You now have a complete plan for your release. Now it’s time to take action. We hope that our tips and advice have helped you identify the right steps to take to get your music out there and make an impact on the world.