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All hail the death of the album project

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For many years the music industry tricked artist into believing that they must complete an album project before they could make any real sales. The time between those albums was often a year or more. Artist after artist struggled to create two (2) projects a year just to be relevant to their fans and to meet the contractual requirements of the major (and indie) labels they were signed to. Before the release of the project came the daunting task of choosing the right single for radio and to get their respective fan bases excited. This was called the RELEASE SCHEDULE.

Many artists still use this model for their release schedule, and it’s a complete tragedy.  Today’s market is looking for a faster and more direct experience with the artist.

Today the SINGLE IS KING and releasing a single every month is the way of the future.

Keep Your Career In Touch With Your Audience

Using today’s instant communication any artist making their fans wait 6 months to a year (or more) between releases has effectively lost that fan and must now build their interest and career momentum again. There is so much else going on in the lives of the music fans that you are trying to attract that you must be able to cut through the clutter and make your emotional connection.

By releasing singles, you stay relevant in a music market where releasing music only 1 or 2 times a year is almost the same as releasing nothing at all.

Build A Loyal Fan Base

Every time you release new music, you are communicating with your fans. The more often that you release music, the more communication happens between you and your fans allowing each of you to get to know each other better.

By releasing singles on a regular schedule, you create a loyal fan base that gets in the habit of getting music from you on a regular basis. They begin to anticipate each release and communicate to you via social networks which give you the ability to develop longer-lasting fan relationships.  These relationships will change into SUPER FANS, people who buy tickets to your shows, meet & greet, private access, buy your merchandise, and so much more.

Your Craft Gets Better

Once you start creating singles on a regular basis and releasing them you get into the habit of working on specific ideas that are relevant to your fan base.  You no longer are under the gun to come up with a complete album project that people in corporate companies must green light.  Your fans let you know almost immediately what works and what doesn’t work.  Listen to fans and embrace using information that they allow you access to.

Working on your career every day gives you a much better feeling; stronger revenue channels and helps target the direction and audience of your music.

Get Paid Frequently

Releasing a single monthly allows you to get paid 8-12 times per year instead of just once or twice. Plus as you continue to release more music your catalogue increases globally.

Release singles as often as possible over the course of a year (once per month on average).

Preparation

Create HD photos, multiple videos, credits, lyrics, album art, song descriptions, press release and a few blog posts upfront and have all of this information located in a single folder so everything is in one place when you start uploading on various platforms. Nothing slows you down faster than having to stop to dig around for stuff.

Metadata and encode specifics include:

== AUDIO ==

Format: WAVE 16bits 44,1kHz stereo

Length: Full audio, 30s, 20s, 15s, 10s, 7.0s, 7,5s (all those lengths are needed!)

 

== VIDEO ==

Format: MP4

Length: Full video, 45s, 30s (all those lengths are needed!)

Resolutions: 1280×720 (16:9)

Bitrate: 3500 kbps

Framerate: 30 fps

Codecs: H264 or MPEG

 

Audio format of the video:

Bitrate: 96kbps or higher

Samplerate: 44100Hz

Channels: 2 (stereo)

Codec: AAC or MP3

 

== Album Image ==

1500x1500px (300dpi)

Purchase an ISRC code and a UPC code, trust me you are going to need these.

Distribution

Since I have my own platform that is Global I really don’t care for the platforms CD Baby, Tune Core or several of the new platforms developed to help DIY artists. They are all good platforms but don’t allow the geo-targeting flexibility needed for today’s music.  I prefer to work with regular communication and the ability to adjust quickly to the ever-changing artist marketing & promotion. Currently, our company is reaching several International content distributors directly with built-in marketing and promotion for qualified projects.

For videos, I suggest using YouTube, Vimeo, Vevo, Daily Motion and as many others as you can find. Video uploads really depend on how much time you have and what sort of presence you will have on the other platforms.

Take your time to upload songs, videos and whatever else you have for content distribution.  You don’t want to make a careless mistake in identifying your music, video, download or stream. This should be fairly painless if you did your job in the preparation phase

Market, Market, Market

Now that everything is set up, it’s time to start telling your fan world via Marketing

Start by contacting everyone in your email list (if you don’t have one you are screwing yourself).

Once everything is live on your content distribution channels, complete and publish your blog post and new song press release.

Then make your rounds in the social media world as well as reach out to any blogs, radio and podcast contacts that have featured your music in the past.

Take your time to set up your release information correctly for you want to follow this procedure on a scheduled basis.

It takes work to change a mindset however the rewards are worth the time and effort.

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Allen Johnston

Author: Allen Johnston

The Music Specialist Speaks

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