5 steps to release your music album!
After months of sweating in your recording room, it's finally time for your album release!
You're excited, and your fans should be happy with what you do!
A new album isn't just something to tweet about - it's something to celebrate.
It's a great chance to build a name for yourself, but we have to do it right.
This guide is mostly about showing you the most important steps for getting your music out there.
Releasing music is a delicate process, so we need to do it right.
Here are the 5 steps to releasing an album:
- Complete your album
- Choose a music distribution company
- Promote your album releases
- Seek Spotify playlist promotion
- Market your music on social media
When learning how to release an album, we can't ever forget the basics!
Release an album with these steps and you'll see your music online go viral.
Watch my video below for tips on releasing an album. 👇
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Boost Collective is the #1 trusted source of music distribution for artists - You can protect your content and earn royalties whenever it is being used. Enjoy!
#1. Complete your album
When you're done making an album, it's important to master it.
Believe it or not, most artists release an album way before it's finished.
Music mastering is about making sure that the music is loud and in the best format while keeping a good balance.
You don't want fans to hear it on digital music distribution services, while it sounds like unprofessional.
So make sure that the song is the right length (no more dead space and no abrupt ending). Paying a music producer in a recording studio to master your music may be the right investment in this case!
Or, upload it to Boost Collective's free music mastering service!
If you have a studio at home, you might want to think about mastering your tracks, otherwise, just send them to your engineer.
Now before your song is ready for digital music distribution services, we'll need some album art.
What Is Mastering?
Mastering is a post-production process used to fine-tune a stereo mix for optimal playback on various devices and media formats. Balance, compression, limiting, and stereo enhancement have all been standard tools in the mastering process.
The mastering process is the last step before a release is ready for listening on any system, from a listener's iPhone to a big club system.
The word "master copy" is from where the concept originates.
The mastering process ensures that the final versions of the music will sound their best when played back on any form of media, be it a digital audio file, a compact disc, or a vinyl record.
In addition, mastering ensures that each song in an album has the same sound quality and vibe throughout.
The final, release-ready version of your music is crafted during the mastering process.
Get perfect cover art
Without album art, there is no album.
In some cases, album art is even more important than the music itself to get people's attention right away!
Well-made album art can become a staple of time, and get shared in big digital music stores.
I am aware though, that many musicians are not great at making album art...
This is why I recommend you use Boost Collective.
They create artwork for your music 100% free!
Try their album art maker app today, you will not regret:
- Professional-level album art
- Artwork created fast
- 100% free to use
- Customizable templates to select from
Good album art will make people wanna tune into the release date and hear your new music.
Knowing how to release an album is knowing how to make it look good.
That's a freakin' fact - get a good album cover!
Tap below to claim your free album art today. 👇
Why Do I Need Good Cover Art?
If you like one song on an album, but want to hear more from that group or that producer, you can use the artwork to find out more about them, their views, their musical ideas, and brand.
Still, the artwork plays a crucial role in drawing in listeners and providing context for individual tracks and the album as a whole.
It's the visual that attracts your target audience to your music and motivates them to start actively listening to it.
Essentially, you need to transform lukewarm listeners into rabid supporters.
It's your true self in the album cover. It's always there, whether a person is just starting out as a listener or is already a die-hard follower.
Album art now extends beyond the cover of the record. It's a component of your artist identity.
When it comes down to it, the song is the one that best represents your work. This is common sense.
Successful streaming still relies heavily on visuals, though!
Album release checklist
Bands put out a lot of releases without getting ready for them.
It still takes a lot of work to get my album ready.
Here are a few things to check off before releasing music:
- Featured artists have accepted the final songs
- The entire project is mixed/mastered
- Created your press release EPK
- Made the perfect album art
- Metadata tagged correctly
- Choose a good project title
The longer it takes to get to a street date, the harder it is to sell albums.
That ain't how to release an album.
Set your release date not too far in the future, so fans don't get bored.
You don't need to set your release date months into the future before it gets onto a single digital music store...
Ideally, you set a 1-week deadline when you release an album.
You'll act more urgently when there's a super recent upcoming album compared to the alternative.
#2. Select a music distributor
When putting out a single album, it must first be ready to be sold in physical or digital form.
To get your new music into digital music stores you'll need Boost Collective.
DistroKid, TuneCore, and other alternatives exist but... They charge way too much for essentially the same service.
They all ask for the genre, metadata, track title, etc.
That's not how to release your album like a boss.
Distributing is a time-consuming process, and if you do it right, it up can lead to a new source of income.
Since you're not signed to a record label, you STILL need to get the label services from somewhere!
How much does it cost to release Your album with a distributor?
Most studios provide project recordings at reasonable rates.
A single song may cost between $50 and $500, while a complete album can cost over $1000.
The reason it costs so much to release your album is because of the random expenses.
It's not just about getting into digital music stores.
You want your entire release to go right.
Boost Collective will get your music out on digital music stores, as well as:
- 100% Free Cover Art Creation
- 100% Free Spotify Promotion
- 100% Free Music Video Creation
- 100% Free Music Mastering
- 100% Free Music Distribution
Artists pay roughly $800 - $2000 a year just for these services, so it's important to invest in the right places.
CD Baby is not worth the cost to put out one song, let alone release an album!
Fortunately, songwriters are not required to pay labels to sell their music to iTunes, Spotify, or iTunes.
Everyone may publish music through independent publishers or music aggregators and receive royalties on sales.
Tips & Tricks for releasing streaming services
Music streaming is a great opportunity to make money if you aren't signed to a record label.
Here are my tips when you release an album:
- Leverage Spotify for musicians
- Work with other artists whenever possible
- Add your press release to the artist profile bio
- Submit to digital distributors early
- License your music with a music P.R.O.
Spotify goes into great detail on how musicians may use the platform.
They can turn your track titles into household names.
Leveraging the Spotify editorial pitch tool and playlisting can put you ahead of the curve.
It's these release builder tools that don't seem so important - but change the game.
License your music with a Music PRO
Copyrights on a record might be one of the best things you do.
There are two methods for licensing music.
You can issue what are known as synchronization licenses, or sync licenses, in the industry. You can also register your music with a Performance Rights Organization (PRO) like ASCAP or BMI in the United States.
Then, you will receive royalties when companies or organizations download and use your music.
Your digital distributor makes music findable in stores, but it doesn't actually register your song with a performance rights organization.
This means even if you put out unlimited albums - you may not be collecting all your royalties. This is why after your digital distributor, you get your full album registered.
There is a fee to pay, but it's worth it for independent musicians that want to protect their works.
#3. Promote your album
You can't get album sales if you can't sell an album!
Facebook advertising is becoming increasingly popular, and musicians must learn how to utilize it effectively.
Depending on your release format, you'll promote it differently.
A shorter EP might want paid advertising, whereas you go the playlist route for longer releases.
Once it's on Google Play, Apple Music, and other streaming services then it's time to grow.
Here are effective ways to release an album and get sales:
- Run a pre-save campaign
- Create a music video
- Use paid ads
These are ways to make music findable, and build hype for your new song.
Knowing how to release an album is one step... Promoting is a whole other.
Getting into a local record store means nothing today.
Promoting someone else's music in the 60's sure. But that won't fly today!
You'll need a digital promotion for your song titles to be worth anything.
Run a pre-save campaign
Pre-album launch singles are a great method to get listed on Apple Music and Spotify while also raising exposure for EPs and albums.
You can start way before you release an album.
If your song plans to get a playlist promotion for months after its debut, you may gain additional support during the first week of its release.
It's the early push to digital stores that makes a difference.
When a firm sees your singles as part of a campaign or EP, they will be intrigued and want to join your large promotional effort.
It applies to the whole digital sector.
Avoid the following mistakes:
- In a standalone single or album, use a distinct pre-save link
- Confirm that the album is ready to go before the release
- Don't over-spam your pre-save everywhere
- Have physical copies of your music ready in advance
- Build a press release for the album
Do these steps for your next EP release, and you'll do numbers in the online stores.
The album title needs some work before Spotify displays releases.
Digital album preorders are now available through ToneDen and similar sites.
Pre-added music lets users add your albums to their playlists on the day they are released. When finding out how to release an album, this is crucial.
As all the songs in your album get pre-saved, you're guaranteed to end up on the release radar.
Featured artists in this playlist get hella buzz for their music!
#4. Submit to playlists
Make a playlist for a certain song in your album!
If you make an indie rock album, getting into an indie rock playlist will take your promo game up a notch!
You can submit your album to playlist curators as soon as the song is out and live.
Digital stores are ready to promote your album title.
Real talk... You can even promote a prior release along with subsequent releases.
There's no deadline for promotion, just push your album out!
Here are tips for running playlists campaigns on albums:
- Promote 2-3 songs MAX
- Get the featured artists to promote as well
- Stretch your budget over a long time horizon
Pack up my other post about becoming a featured artist in a Spotify playlist promotion campaign.
Decide early if you want to go the playlist route for your next album, or if you want to use other methods.
Just note that not all promotion methods are equal…
Your pop-punk album might only have demand through certain channels.
Submitting to radio stations produces a lower yield than simply paid advertisements.
A blog post and press releases might be too early for you if you're still in the small fanbase stage.
#5. Promote on social media
These social networks reward consistent material and a good narrative. Use all these helpful platforms for their intended functions!
Unless you have tens of thousands of visitors on your side, you'll have to leverage social media and the algorithm to promote your works.
The goal is to turn your album title into a household name, and your music heard.
I've heard some titles go from zero to hero, just by the artists promoting their album online.
It's important that you make a lot of content for your upcoming release, and promote all of your tour dates as well. Have social media logos, designs, etc. Record labels still depend on artists to create contact digitally so there is no excuse!
How Do I Promote My Album On Social Media?
Here's five easy steps:
- Content is king
- Consistency is key
- Build your brand
- Be authentic
The ability to interact with your audience in real time is what makes social media so great.
You need to be your genuine self if you want to make a genuine connection with them. If you aren't being honest with your audience, they will quickly lose interest.
Learn which types of social media content get the most engagement and build from there.
Pay attention to the things that are productive and abandon the rest.
The closer your material gets to being about you as an individual, the more your followers will feel a connection to you.
create music videos and short-form content
What makes YouTube so popular?
Everyone needs a music video to be uploaded on the Internet.
Making content can help you learn how to promote music.
Putting the audio behind the static photos of the album art may be a little easier with iMovie or even the inShot phone editing app.
Get a free music video for your album using Boost Collective.
Not only do they get your music onto digital stores way better than CD baby, but they are great album artwork and video visualizers.
They will take your best music and make it something timeless.
You might also hire a Fiverr freelancer to edit video content.
Originally you can also edit your music video for your album, but we don't recommend this method.
Not only do you need a lot of skill but it's very time-consuming to go through that learning curve…
Even harder than learning your digital audio workstation.
You are a musician, not a graphic designer!
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We're on a mission to change what is possible in the music industry and we need you!