It’s clear the traditional rules of releasing music are changing, thanks to streaming and social media
This thread is dedicated to articles, videos, etc… about planning and scheduling music releases.
(Note: It’s a spread of opinions, rather than hard rules. Feel free to add your own links, etc…)
Singles vs EPs vs Albums
How often should I release music?
See also: #ReadMe: Promotion strategies
The New Strategy For Music Releases (Mar, 2017)
A new strategy in music releases is beginning to take place, even within the major labels. In almost a return to the early days of records, the single song is king rather than the album, and that requires an entirely new look at the timing of when your material becomes available.
The New Song Release Schedule Explained (Jul, 2017)
Our current Music 4.0 world requires new thinking regarding song releases. Here’s an excerpt from my Music 4.1 Internet Music Guidebook that outlines the new release schedule and it’s benefits.
When it comes to releasing your music, it’s not always easy to know which type of compilation you should be putting out first. Should you release a single? Or would something with more tracks like an EP more be effective?
To many music artists and bands, making an album has always been the epitome of their art. This group of songs was a statement to their voice and current state of mind, not to mention a reflection of their social and physical environment. It was thought to be the highest form of recorded experience the artist could offer. It wasn’t always that way though, and for the most part, it’s not like that now.…
Why (I believe) the article above is a bad generalisation
The comment about ending ‘iTunes LP’ submissions is a bit of a non-story. ‘iTunes LP’ was simply a music + interactive content format which would be offered as a bundle only.
It doesn’t spell the end of albums, just the end of ‘special edition’ interactive albums. Apple Music and iTunes will continue to accept, sell and promote albums.
I believe there’s ample evidence to suggest the reported death of the album is premature, but it’s a worthwhile read.
To demonstrate why I think the album format is still relevant, even amongst the same audience segment credited/blamed for its death…
Ed Sheeran’s Divide album was the biggest album of 2017, gathering over 2.8 million ‘sales’ (.
(* Calculated from CD/Vinyl, downloads, streams)
The album has yielded four Single releases to-date.
Taking the original 12-track album as a starting point…
On Spotify alone, the non-single album tracks have attracted over 1.45 billion plays. That’s over 42% of total track plays from that album.
The four additional tracks in the Deluxe version of the album have added 500 million, bringing the non-single plays to 55% of total plays of material from that release.
So, when more than half of an artist’s Spotify streams can come from their album-only tracks, I’d say that talk of the death of the album is very premature.
Add to this the fact that Ed Sheeran effectively ‘sold’ over 3.6 million digital album copies on Spotify alone…
Divide was so successful in 2017 that at one point, thanks to album streams, tracks from Divide held eight positions in the UK Top 10 singles chart at the same time – with all 16 album tracks being in the UK Top 20 Singles chart at that same time – because so many people were streaming the entire album.
This situation made them change the rules, limiting it so that no more than three tracks from one album can hold Top 10 chart positions at the same time.)
In an era with more freedom to release music than ever before, the timing of those releases remains a delicate, high-wire act.
This article focuses on models in hip-hop and trap, but those two genres seem to be at the leading edge of new models for releasing music. So, worth taking note, imo.