Different Music Release Strategies For Album Release

Musicians creating an album may not know the best methods for releasing it to the world. In fact, many independent musicians have no idea what they are doing when releasing music, especially for the first time.

When releasing music, you must understand what works and doesn’t. It may require some experimentation and a lot of research. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your release will receive thousands of downloads. Streaming and social media are too unpredictable.

However, some helpful methods and strategies you can try with some attention to your release that works well in your favor. So here are some practical steps and ways to try when releasing your next (or first) album.

Before/During Recording the Album:

Keep Track of the Process

When you are creating your music, you should work to keep track of your process from start to finish. Newer or unknown artists with smaller followings want to feel that they are involved with you when you’re writing your music or recording your album.

The best way to keep your audience engaged is by giving them an inside look into your process. For example, suppose you can find a way to talk about the inspiration behind a specific song or maybe a story that the music reflects on your music podcast. In addition, any way to display emotions or feelings that may resonate with your audience creates a connection for people.

Start by Releasing a Single

EPs and Albums can take a long time to produce and record. However, recording and releasing just one song can happen much more quickly, so if you’re new to the music releasing world, you can begin with a single.

You can use releasing a single first as a preview for your upcoming album and help create a buzz of anticipation. In addition, it can be helpful to feature a song that maybe is a collaboration with another artist as a way to expand your reach.

You should also consider recording your album for release as just a series of singles. It helps make the entire album process go faster and less stressful.

Make a Video

If you are gearing up for an album release, you should consider creating a video as either an advertisement for the album or a way to introduce yourself. There are a few kinds of visual content that you can make to help promote your album releases, such as a music video, lyric video, or live video.

Social media platforms are a great way to release video content. Just ensure that you are not infringing any copyrighted music on TikTok or any other channel where you could face a lawsuit. Eventually, these platforms, including TikTok, Instagram, and more, could feature your own copyrighted music for people to use and enjoy!

Side note: if you don’t know about your music rights, be sure you educate yourself before utilizing any music or releasing your own!

Videos help present a way to help unfold your narrative or perhaps tell a story with your music. It’s another layer (maybe in conjunction with an inside look feature) that can help people have a connection or create a deeper meaning to your music, so your album release is successful.

When Releasing the Album:

Finding a Distributor

There are many options for distributing your album when you release it, and it can help to be on more than one to help increase your exposure. However, unless you have a label, you most likely will want to use a third-party distributor when releasing your album.

Some of the most popular distribution channels include Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, TikTok, Tidal, Ditto, CD Baby, TuneCore, DistroKid, and Amuse. Many of these offer extra features when you distribute your music with them. They also operate on subscriptions, meaning you pay an annual fee but have the freedom to release as many songs or albums as you please.

Research and explore the offers from distributors, and evaluate your budget to see how many streaming channels you can release your album to reach as many people as possible.

Take Your Time

Preparing an album for release takes time. It’s easy to rush the process, but it helps to build the momentum up with your audience and excite them into wanting to be the first to download your album when you finally release it.

Waterfalling Your Album Release

The traditional album cycle has changed more recently, and one of the more popular release strategies is “waterfalling.” It was begun by the popular group The Chainsmokers and is now a more go-to method for artists, old and new, to release their albums.

So the steps are as follows:

  • Release your first single in a usual manner,
  • When releasing your second single, pair it with the first single.
  • When releasing the third song, pair it with the first and second singles.
  • Release your first single in a usual manner,
  • When releasing your second single, pair it with the first single.
  • When releasing the third song, pair it with the first and second singles.

Now you have the idea. When you release the next song from your album, make sure you pair it with any other singles you’ve already released.

It is an apt strategy for streaming services since the next song will play when a song ends while playing. In addition, the automatic play feature keeps more attention on all of your singles instead of just one at a time as you release them.

Think of it this way – for instance, you drop your first single, and let’s say it gets 10,000 streams in a month. Then by the second month, you release the second single and the first single paired. So now, your first single will accumulate another 10,000 streams along with the second, and so on.

Track Your Stats

One last thing to do is to ensure that you keep up with your album once you have distributed it. Again, you can use a third-party site like Spot On Track or closely monitor your progress with other automation tools.

Why incorporate tracking as part of your release strategy? There are some fundamental reasons.

First, if you know who listens to your music, that is precious information for musicians. It helps you understand your demographics – things like age, interests, and more for who is listening to you, giving you a better strategy for the next release and how to appeal to that particular demographic.

You can also easily see your progress and set goals for yourself. For example, you can see how many streams you’re getting, how many add to playlists, how it affects your following, and other stats to tell you how your music is doing.

Releasing your album can feel stressful and be very complex, but it is more important that you enjoy the process. Congratulate yourself each time you release a single or album.

You’ve accomplished something unique, and no matter the outcome, you’ve put a lot of hard work and effort into it. So be proud of yourself and relish that you’ve done a great job!