What’s Behind a Successful Release?
When you’re contemplating recording, often the thoughts are on the immediate – the micro-construction of the songs and the details of the recording process definitely fill most people’s minds. Here, we look beyond recording, beyond mastering, beyond publishing and copyright, all the way to the release.
How you release something will very much depend on three things – grouped loosely as: your character, your spheres of influence and external factors. Here we’ll break these down into six areas for you to focus on for a successful release.
- Your character impacts how you release your music:
Integrity is key with regard to music. If you don’t fully believe in your music, or if it doesn’t truly come from your heart, you’ll soon unravel in interviews and lose passion for the project.
If you truly own your project and believe in it – then you’ll know in your heart how you want it received and who by.
- Your inner circle impacts how you release your music:
Your friends, family, super-fans and label (if you have one) will, of course, be early adopters and have the capacity to catapult the project… if provided with the correct tools – that you know they’ll adopt.
Here are some ideas – with each one, imagine the people in the list above, how would they respond to these:
- An intimate private launch
- a listening party
- social media – using private messages, or to groups of fans in advanceasking for interaction online on the release date
- signed copies of artwork or handwritten lyrics
- For tons more ideas look at kickstarter campaign rewards – there are loads of ideas for a smaller demographic of supporters as well as more ambitious releases
- Your access to technology impacts how you release your music.
Press releases, articles and reviews are all absolutely essential. In today’s saturated market, if your music is worth hearing, you’re going to need to ensure you’re exploiting every possible appropriate avenue. Beyond your inner circle, communication is easiest through social media, mailing lists and youtube. Each requiring their own precise skillset to pitch correctly and not waste money in the wrong places.
In today’s saturated market, if your music is worth hearing, you’re going to need to ensure you’re exploiting every possible appropriate avenue.
- The power of social media
It is no secret that social media has made a massive impact on the way we release & stream music, but how can we use it to the best of our advantage?
Social media is not an overnight success – it is a process. In order to have a strong social media presence you have to be consistent and engaging with your followers. Whether giving them a daily update on what you are doing or making them laugh regularly through something fun/crazy, whatever way you want to use social media you have to engage regularly with your followers. These are the people who are going to stream your music and buy your gig tickets. You need to give them your attention or rapidly they will forget you.
Once you have built a loyal fan base you can then start using that platform to promote your new releases. Currently (Summer 2020), the best platforms to generate music streams are:
- Instagram: The most important one to be engaging on. Uploading a daily post and a few funny stories will go a long way when you then ask them to stream and even purchase your song.
- Tiktok: This is a newer platform that is very underestimated. If you don’t use it – It is a place to upload short videos that go along to music, whether that is a lip sync, a dance or just a cute little puppy rolling around on the floor. Creating a few Tiktoks using your new music could prompt people to recreate that video using your new song. If it is a good video it is a very easy way to get millions of people recognising your song without even realising it.
- Facebook- Similar to Instagram but with a musically active demographic around the age of 30+. Creating daily posts on here (even using the same videos you put on Instagram) can go a long way when asking your followers to stream/share your new music.
- Your access to funding
Before you begin, ensure you have sufficient funds to see the full potential success of the project. We’ve put together a pie chart as a very rough guide to get you thinking. Although aimed at debut releases, many of the factors are scalable – eg – if you’re recording at home or recording in a studio, the percentage costs will remain similar in most areas. There are of course many famous exceptions!
- Your availability of time.
Timing is everything when it comes to a release. Rush it and you’ll regret it; lose momentum, and it’s really hard to get it back. If you’re signed, then, along with your label, ensure you have the time to promote, tour, gig and sell. You may need to re-shuffle your life a little as you plan your diary over the coming months. We often say (again, with many exceptions) that nine months is a good period to ‘birth’ a project from inception. So think along these timelines as you plan studio time and your availability post release. Knowing that ANYTHING can happen along the way (Covid-19 anyone?!) and your release might fit into your plans, or it might go further than your wildest dreams.
If you’re recording at Crown Lane, we’d love to chat through some of these with you – to ensure you’re on the right track.