Releasing a single track can be beneficial for both aspiring and well-established musicians. Single tracks not only require a lot less work in comparison to releasing a full album but it also enables artists to be consistent and engaged with their audience.
In this article, we are going to learn the benefits and the drawbacks of releasing a single, the types of single tracks you can release, and what you need to consider when you work on releasing your single.
Benefits of Releasing a Single
Releasing singles put you on track quickly
If you are starting your career in the music industry, coming out with an album might feel overwhelming or beyond your means. In this situation, releasing your first single puts you on track as quickly as possible.
Starting with a single is an experience that you can learn from, and the knowledge you will gain from such experience will significantly increase the odds of your success when you release your first album.
Singles enable you to claim your Artist Name
Streaming services are important channels to reach your audience and increase the popularity of your work. However, most streaming services don’t let you create an artist profile or use their various promotional tools unless you have music on their platforms. Releasing a single will allow you to claim your artist’s name and take advantage of all of those streaming platforms.
And maintains your presence
Releasing an album usually takes years of preparation. While artists in the past were able to keep their fans loyal when they disappeared for long periods to prepare their next album, in our present fast-paced world, modern artists need to release music frequently to retain the attention of their audience.
Releasing more singles = more streaming rewards
Ads and other kinds of streaming rewards are an important source of income for modern artists. While it is not reasonable to release an album every couple of months, releasing singles and posting new content on platforms such as YouTube and Spotify will enable you to qualify for their rewards programs.
Drawbacks of Singles
While Album records give the world the impression that you are a serious musician, singles often don’t have such an impact. Accordingly, it is harder to get any press or industry attention when releasing a single.
Moreover, singles don’t contribute to the visibility of your brand and story as much as an Album does.
Types of Singles
You can release a track from an upcoming EP or album (LP) as a single. This is often called the “lead single”, and it gives your audience a taste of what to expect in the upcoming album.
Many musicians choose to release a second single before the release of their album. This type of single is called the “deeper dive” or the “follow-up single”. Like the lead single, it creates anticipation for your big Album.
Furthermore, the recordings that did not make it to your album could work as great singles to release a few months later. Those singles are called the “B-Sides”.
To keep up the momentum on your streaming accounts, you can release acoustic takes, demos, alternate mixes, remixes, and other forms of bonus tracks. Releasing such tracks is also helpful to revive tracks from your albums when it starts to wane in popularity.
You can also create singles in collaboration with other artists. Doing so is a great way to reach well beyond your existing audience (as the same tracks will reach the fanbase of the artists you’re collaborating with).
Another idea for a single is to make a cover song. Covering an existing song, especially a proven hit, can attract new listeners.
How to Release a Single?
After we talked about why a musician should consider releasing a single and what types of tracks can be utilized as a single, it is time to talk about the steps to take to have a successful single release.
There is more to releasing a single than producing the final mix. Therefore, you need to:
Plan and Give Yourself Time
Although releasing a single doesn’t require as much work as releasing a full album, you still need to give yourself a reasonable amount of time for planning and preparation. In addition to producing the final mix, you should factor in the time you need to develop a promotion strategy, prepare the required visuals and any other assets, figure out distribution and do everything else that needs to be done.
On average, you are going to need four to six months to produce the track and do all the necessary preparation for a successful release.
Decide on a Release Date
Having a time-bound plan is essential for the success of any kind of project. When releasing a single, having a date for the release will facilitate developing a timeline and setting a deadline for each task you need to accomplish.
As you create your timeline, remember that you don’t have to rush. You only have one shot to release this particular singe and you need to give it your attention, devotion and the best quality you have.
Develop A Strategy for Releasing Your Single
Thinking about a strategy is a step that could make or break your release. Before moving forward with the project, you need to think about important questions such as: How are you going to attract listeners? How is this single going to enhance your relationship with your fans? And how is it going to take you to the next milestone in your career?
Investing time and effort in developing a solid strategy that guarantees the success of your upcoming release and ties it to your music career will maximize your gains.
Choose The Right Distributor for Your Single
A music distributor is what connects your music with the audience. In the past (and today to a limited extent), distributors used to manufacture the physical vinyl, CDs and cassettes and ship them to the stores. Today, most distributions take place online.
There are many services such as CDbaby, TuneCore, and landr that help musicians distribute their work on the various music streaming platforms. Those distributors also help you keep track of all your sales and payouts.
When you are about to release a single, you should choose a distributor that would work best for you and your audience.
Create The Artwork
Because of how smartphones and streaming platforms work, your audience will initially see you through the visuals that accompany your music. Creating a catchy cover and thumbnail among other visuals is crucial for the success of your single release.
Your visuals should have the ability to attract the attention of the audience within just a few seconds. If graphic designing is not your cup of tea, you might want to hire a professional to take care of it for you.
Make a Music Video with Your Single Release
In addition to the still visuals, a music video is another important tool to promote your single. It provides an additional dimension to tell the story behind your music which can create a deeper connection between your work and your fans.
Promote Your Single
Promoting your single should take place before and after your release. Starting your campaign one month before the release should be sufficient to generate excitement and anticipation for the track.
Your audience must have the means to take action towards your upcoming work when you start building up their anticipation.
For example, with a Spotify pre-save campaign you can encourage your audience to save your upcoming track to their queue so they can hear it as soon as it becomes available on Spotify. Read this article for more information about Spotify Pre-Saves.
Find the hook and make everything swirl around it
Your efforts to promote your new single should revolve around a hook. A hook is a unique thing about this single that makes the audience eager to listen to it. When you identify a strong hook, promoting your music will become easier and more successful.
Repeat the message
After identifying the hook, in other words, the essence of the invitation message to the audience to check this single out, what you need to do is to repeat that message in different shapes and forms.
This can be achieved by changing the tone of the message as well as utilizing the different communication channels such as social media, your website, an email campaign, media interviews, and so on.
Furthermore, you can work on publicizing your music to any relevant corporations, non-profit organizations, or hobby groups that might resonate with your music or the topic of the song.
Write a press release about your single
Although this could sound old school but emailing journalists about your next single could get you media coverage. In your press release write-up try to convince the editors at newspapers, magazines, and radio stations that you have an interesting story to cover.
Releasing singles before and after the release of a full album is how musicians can remain visible to their audience and receive their feedback. It is also how beginners can step into the music world as quickly as possible and without being overwhelmed.
Do you have an idea for a single track? Mello Studio would love to help record, distribute and promote your music to the world. Contact us today!