How To Release an Album
If you’re reading this article, chances are you have songs that you want to package into an album. Or you don’t have any songs yet, but you’re wondering how to put together a successful album. Either way, this article will discuss how to package your work and release it in a way that creates excitement in your target audience.
First off, it helps to realize that you can have the greatest album in the world, but no one will know about it if your music promotion isn’t on point. Many artists make the mistake of putting their heart and soul into the music creation process and not putting much effort into marketing. Creating an entire album is a great accomplishment, but it’s not the finish line–it’s only the beginning!
With that said, let’s look at the three ways in which you can package your music. There are pros and cons to each method. And choosing which route to go will depend entirely on your situation including your budget, your current following, the number of tracks you have and the length of each track. Here are the three main ways to package your music:
Single. This is self-explanatory, but this method is the release of a single song. Singles are great if you have a minimal budget. They’re also useful as an ‘album teaser’. They’re not so good if your track is long and abstract–singles are expected to be short and ‘radio-ready’. Also, realize that if you want to release your music on Spotify, if you release less than six tracks or 30 minutes of music time, Spotify will mark it as a single. Spotify doesn’t have an EP feature.
EP. EP stands for Extended Play. EP’s contain a few tracks, but not as many as a full album. An EP is usually four to six tracks with less than 30 minutes of music. EP’s are a great way to try a new style of music and see how your audience reacts–singles may confuse your audience while full albums might be too much for your audience to take in if they’re already used to one style of your music. EP’s are the perfect in-between.
LP. LP is a full album usually with 10-12 tracks and 30-60 minutes of music on it. If you have many tracks with a similar feel, this should be the route you take. This is obviously the most expensive method of release, but it also has the most upside if you’re an established artist. If you’re a new artist, this may not be the way to go just yet.
Once you determine which package to choose for your music, it’s wise to think about how you’ll go about releasing it. Here are some tips on how to make your audience crave the release of your album (and tell all of their friends!):
Brand wisely. Pick album artwork that draws people in, name your tracks deliberately and order them in a way that gives your listener the experience you want them to feel. Label your music using the appropriate genre as well.
Throw a release party! Get your family and friends together and make it as bomb or as low-key as you want it. Encourage them to bring people to expand your network and create more buzz. Play for these people live and play your heart out–these people are your foundation and they deserve it.
Use singles to promote your EP/LP. Use one of the tracks on your album to give your audience a taste of what’s coming. Release it a few weeks or even a month or two before the release of your album.
Have music PR agencies or music publicists do the music marketing for you. If you can afford it, music PR agencies have expertise in the areas of music promotion and branding. They can take artists from the bottom to the top really quick. One of the leading hip hop PR firms in the space is WMR media. They have a ton of promotion packages and a proven track record with services like Spotify marketing, Spotify playlisting, blog marketing, entertainment marketing etc.
Play A LOT of live gigs. Gigs are one of the best ways to promote your music–especially if you’re on a budget. Gigs give you a chance to connect with your audience directly. There’s nothing that builds loyalty like face-to-face connections.
Use social media. I’m sure you saw this one coming–but in today’s age, there’s no better way to reach people at scale through platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. However, you need to be strategic and make sure your branding is on point instead of simply bombarding people with posts which can have the opposite effect of what you want.
Releasing an album is a big deal for any artist. It can often be nerve-wracking to put your hard work out to the public. But if you follow the tips above, you’re on the path to having a successful release. If you want to take all of the guesswork out of music promotion and maximize the potential of your album release, check out WMR Media–one of the world’s leading hip hop PR firms.