#ReadMe: Music release strategies and schedules

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.



Should I Release A Single, Ep, Mixtape Or Album First? A Launch Plan (Nov 2014)

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?



The Music Album Is Dead, But Not Everyone’s Accepted It Yet (Mar 2018)

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


  1. ‘Album-equivalent unit’: 1500 streams = 10 downloads = 1 album sale)

  2. 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…

In fact…

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.)




Is It Better to Release Too Much or Too Little Music in 2017? (Jun, 2017)

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.


Based on Rock, but still some useful insights, imo…


Inside The Chainsmokers’ Plan to Rethink the Album Cycle (Mar, 2018)

After The Chainsmokers presented their 2018 release strategy to their record label last fall, the plan was so complicated that Columbia Records vp sales Joe Gallo had to buy a new dry-erase board. Columbia’s team spent three weeks scribbling out the idea – a single will come out every month on Spotify, Apple Music and the rest, atop a new EP containing each previous single.


This is a lot of info! I’ll try to check out some of these.

It’ll be an ongoing thread. No rush, but worth chewing through the topic if you’re planning to release anything on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, etc… so you can make more informed choices. :+1: :slight_smile:

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(Jan, 2018)

How to Release an Album: The 10 Step Music Distribution Checklist (Jun, 2017)

Releasing a single or album is a big deal. So do it right.

You’ve worked hard on it for weeks, months or even years. Releasing your record is a moment in the making. So it should be a happy moment. Not a moment filled with fear and disorganization. While the actual release of your album IS a big deal, knowing how to release an album right isn’t that tough…


The Ultimate Release Checklist for Your Next Single, Album, or Video Release (Nov, 2017)

There’s nothing worse than feeling totally overwhelmed by preparing for your latest release to the point that it overshadows the excitement of having just made what you may even consider your best work to date! When you’re getting ready to unveil a new recording to the masses, the last thing you want to be doing is scrambling to get organized.

Take your time, don’t rush it, and remember: Preparation is everything. You didn’t rush the creative process getting to this point, so don’t start cutting corners now.

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Why aren’t you a moderator?!

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I used to be, but I decided to stop doing it a while back. :slight_smile:


@MisterMaster told me. But why? You’re so helpful and informative

No bad reasons. :+1: …and thanks. :smiley:

I’m on the same journey. I just share the knowledge as I find it.

(Would be cool if we could keep the thread clean for on-topic stuff.)


Dos and Don’ts of Demo Submission: How to get your record signed
(LANDR Blog, Aug 2014)

During my eight-year tenure at Turbo Recordings, I would guess that I’ve received over 50,000 demos, and personally listened to a total of about 200,000 songs.It’s been a rewarding process that has led to some big signings: unsolicited demos are how we discovered great artists like Gesaffelstein, Proxy, Popof, and Clouds, to name a few.

From my experience, I can suggest a few basic dos and don’ts to keep in mind when sending your demo to labels.

How to Send a Demo to a Record Label (and Get it Listened to)
(LiveSchool Blog, Aug 2014)

I’ve been hosting dance shows on FBi Radio for 8 years, worked with the legends at cult label / events / management company Future Classic for 3.5 years and have just recently started my own record label called Plastic World (with my homie Vic from Astral People). Over those 8+ years I’ve been on the catching end of a lot of demos. It’s ranged from terrible Russian hard-donk, to this kid from the Northern beaches called Flume.

I’m going to explain what will get you noticed and how you can cut through the inbox-noise when you send a demo to a record label.

Do I Really Need a Music Demo?
(thebalance, Apr 2017

The answer to this question depends on your goals. It’s possible to skip the demo step and go straight to recording an album, but that’s not the answer for everyone. Consider the following two scenarios, and see which one fits you best.

I was just using the thread as proof!

Okay, I’ll stop now. :laughing:

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FYI, all…

SoundCloud users with a Pro Unlimited subscription can now have the option to schedule their SC releases…

Start Scheduling Your Releases & Never Change Your Plans Again


(July, 2018)

The TL;DR answer? It depends - something I never thought about, your genre may be a deciding/helping factor here.

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