How do you keep your fans coming back for new music? Do you give them a constant stream of new songs to download? Do you release a killer album once in a long while and make them wait and anticipate your next full-length release?
In a recent post, I talked about a survey from Tunecore that asked musicians what kind of gigs they prefer. In a different survey, they asked how musicians should release their music. The results were pretty evenly split between yearly new album releases, EPs every few months, monthly singles, and “other.” Actually, “other” topped the votes at 30%, and one can only speculate what musicians meant when they voted for it. (Maybe they were thinking about life-size edible gummy skulls with USB sticks embedded in them?)
Anyway, the consensus seems to be pretty split among the ideal format for today’s musicians, whether it be releasing new albums, EPs or single songs. They all have their advantages.
Keep Your Fans Wanting More
Albums are still the classic format. They are what most musicians are recording and releasing today, even if many fans are seeking out individual songs on iTunes. An album has several advantages. In my band, we find that using the album format as a framework to work within gives us artistic focus and direction. An album as a work of art can dictate your songwriting process and creative inspiration. If you’re a band like Pink Floyd, albums are just about the only way to do make music. Their songs work best as experienced in the context of the full album, often with epic results.
One advantage to releasing albums is that you’ll build lots of anticipation among your fans for when you’ll be recording your next CD.
Make Your Fans Happy with Regular Releases
Sometimes an album is just too much. Sometimes they take too long. If you’ve ever felt this way, EPs might be the way to go. Instead of putting all the time, effort and money into recording a 12 song album that will take much longer to release, keep your music fresh in your fans’ ears by releasing songs in groups of 4 or 5 more frequently. Some well known bands are leaning towards the EP route, including Radiohead. Although their most recent album The King of Limbs was closer to full-length at 8 songs, they have said in the past that the full album format just doesn’t work for them anymore.
You can still have the mentality of an album without going all out and recording a full one, and your fans might appreciate the more regular EP releases to satiate their undying appetite for new music.
Give Your Fans a Constant Stream of New Music to Devour
Maybe you want to forget about albums and EPs altogether. Many artists are doing just that and simply releasing songs by themselves. It’s easy to sell them through your website with Bandcamp or getting onto iTunes. You never have to think about how each song fits in the context of an album. And you can give new music to your fans constantly instead of making them wait. If you’re an artist that loves writing hit singles and pop tunes, this could be the best bet for you. If you constantly have ideas for new songs and just want to get them out into the world, you can easily do it. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about manufacturing costs when you’re not making CDs.
Keep your music fresh in your fans’ minds by releasing singles frequently.
There’s no right or wrong way to release your music. It all comes down to what you feel is best for your songs. But no matter which method you choose, Studio Pros can help you get there. We often work on full albums with artists, and others prefer to record one song at a time whether it’s to suit their budget or to feel like they’re keeping things fresh. Contact us today and a Studio Pros producer will talk to you about your next project.