Releasing a project is a lot like running a race. You wouldn’t begin preparation for the race at the starting line. Instead, you likely begin training months in advance. Similarly, a projects’s release date isn’t the time to strategize a rollout. The release of an album, EP, single or mixtape isn’t a single day task, it’s a much longer process that includes a lot of preparation and follow through. This week’s post outlines potential timelines and components of a larger release. Keep in mind that everyone reading this has a different set of resources, and the general outline will work for most people, but not every piece will align with every artist’s timeline and budget.
The Creative Process - 9 months
Think of all preparation as the creative process. Depending on the scope of the project and the resources available, this process could take six to 12+ months. Not only do artists need to write, record, mix and master the music during this phase, they also need to lay out their plan for the project’s rollout.
Among the things to consider beyond the music itself are:
Video and photoshoots
Post-Release Tour planning
Additional travel (for press, networking, etc.)
Rollout - 3+ months
Once the music, content and plans are finalized, it’s time to start the rollout. During this time, artists might:
Release a single (or several singles)
If you are releasing a full-length project, It’s important to release at least two singles.
Release a music video
Music videos give you an opportunity to stand-out to new fans! Also, music videos account for 55% of on-demand streams.
Use images from photoshoots in promotional materials
Do social media ads ($15/per promotional post)
Social media gives artists the reach to put themselves in-front of new fans via social media promotions.
Do live streams (Interact with fans, answer questions, play snippets)
Start doing press and promotion
Hire a PR team or do some digging around for your favorite blog’s writers and introduce them to your music.
Establish a firm release date.
It’s important to note that a best practice is to upload music to streaming services about a month in advance of the release date. It is also recommended that music be released on Fridays, as this is the industry standard.
The day is finally here. Maybe you planned a release party for Thursday night, since your album drops at 12:00 a.m. Friday morning. Consider this the beginning. You’re now at the starting line of the race. The day a project releases is also the best day to send out a press release. Here’s what that might look like:
Post Release Rollout - 6 months
Now that the project is out, artists should consider doing as many of the following as they can afford:
More video releases
If an artist followed this path exactly, the life cycle of this project would be 18 months.