You want to know how to release an EP but don’t know where to start? We’ve got the answers. Releasing an EP is a great way for musicians to showcase their talent and start making a name for themselves. Nowadays, making a full-length album can be time consuming and costly. Independent artists are using the EP format as a way to share their new music more often and grow a fanbase. With the rise of streaming services, releasing music consistently is a good way to get noticed by playlist algorithms and boost your streams. The EP is a great way to do that! Here is everything you need to know about how to release an EP.
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1. What is an EP and is it really that important?
First of all, some of you may be asking: what is an EP and is it really that important? An EP, short for extended play, typically consists of four to six songs. It is often considered to be a stepping stone for artists who are working towards releasing a full-length album. Some artists may never plan to release a full length album and choose the EP format to release music more often. An EP can give artists the opportunity to experiment with different genres and sounds. Releasing an EP is important because helps generate buzz and increase an artist’s visibility in the music industry. With the power of social media and streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, it has become easier than ever before for artists to distribute their music to wider audiences.
In recent years, artists have been releasing singles rather than full projects as a way to keep audiences engaged. This is a good strategy to promote your music on a more frequent basis. The EP format can follow this trend by compiling successive singles into one project. If done correctly, an EP can be an effective way to build an artist’s profile and gain exposure to new listeners. So yes, releasing an EP is very important in an artist’s career! It just takes careful planning so that an EP can make a real impact.
2. How much does it cost to put out an EP?
Releasing an EP can range in cost depending on your budget and resources. Some artists go the DIY route and release EPs with very little budgets. Others spend thousands of dollars into making their EP and releasing it. Every artist much take into account various factors such as the recording process, production, distribution, promotion, and more. Here is an overview of how much it costs to put out an EP, step by step.
First, recording costs can vary depending on the quality of the recording and who you choose to work with. Recording in a music studio can cost anywhere from 50 to 500 dollars per hour or more. Some studios offer day rates or packs that bring down that hourly rate. As you can see, this can get expensive pretty quick. Lots of indie artists are now working out of their own home studios. If you decide to record at home, you will need to invest in equipment such as microphones, interfaces, and software which can cost anywhere from 300 to 5,000 dollars. You will most likely need a computer to record everything to a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Logic, Pro Tools, or Ableton. Then again, Steve Lacy managed to successfully record and produce music on his iPhone using the Garageband app. This just goes to show that you don’t need to have the most expensive equipment to make a hit song!
Producing, Mixing, and Mastering
If you want to hire a producer to help you with your EP, this can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to up to 10,000 dollars per song depending on their level of experience. Some producers charge an hourly rate, which can get pricey depending on how long it takes to finish a track. Keep in mind that while some producers take on the responsibility of mixing and mastering the songs, others do not. In this case, you will need to set aside a budget for mixing and mastering your EP. Once again, the costs of mixing and mastering can vary greatly depending on the sound engineer working on the project. For example, some engineers may charge a couple hundred dollars per mix or master, while others start their rates around 1,000 dollars per track. If you want to release an EP but are limited in budget, here are some tips to cut costs on the production side of things:
- Invest the time and effort to learn how to mix and master yourself. There are so many resources online that can help you learn the basics!
- Collaborate with other up and coming artists or producers. Offer some sort of exchange to get your tracks mixed or mastered by someone who has more experience than you.
- Seek out sound engineers that are still students and looking to gain experience and build their portfolio. They often will charge lower rates!
In terms of distribution, nowadays there are digital music distributors that make it easy and inexpensive for independent artists to distribute their music on streaming platforms. You no longer need to sign a contract with a music distributor to get your music out there! Distribution services such as Tunecore, CD Baby, and DistroKid will distribute your EP to streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. They have different rates depending on if you are releasing a single, an EP, or an album. They also vary in terms of paying a fixed cost per release or having a yearly subscription. To learn more about the cost of distributing music independently, check out our article on the topic here.
If you’ve put in all this time learning how to release an EP, it’s important to promote your hard work. Promotion costs can vary depending on how much you are willing to spend, but you can budget anywhere from 100 to 10,000 dollars for promotion. This budget can cover services such as social media ads, playlist promotions, hiring a press agent, and more. If you want to learn more about how to promote your music, check out our article dedicated to the topic. A great way to promote your project and get guaranteed feedback is to send your EP to influencers in the music industry by using Groover!
3. How do I announce my EP?
Announcing the release of your EP is an important step in promoting your music and reaching new audiences. First and foremost, you should choose a release date. Make sure you give yourself enough time to properly promote the release. This means preparing high quality visuals and clips and pitching your project to media. You want to get everyone talking about your project! Announcing the release of your EP on social media is important to engage your community. Creating a press release is also a good idea and can help spread the word. Some artists drop their albums or EPs without much warning, but we can’t all be Beyoncé. Set yourself up for success by sharing snippets of your music videos or tracks before the official release to get people excited. Creating teasers is an important step in announcing your EP!
4. What is the best way to release an EP?
There is not one right way to release an EP. However, there are certain steps you can take to increase your chances of success on release day. More and more artists are using the waterfall strategy to release successive singles before releasing their EP. This strategy has been proven to boost engagement on streaming platforms, optimize the algorithm, and keep momentum going. That way, when your EP is finally released, you will already have built a steady following! Let’s say you have an EP of 5 tracks. We recommend releasing at least 2 singles before the full project comes out. Choose release dates that are around a month apart to give the tracks enough time to build buzz.
The best way to release an EP is to be very organized and think ahead! The best way to promote your EP once it is released is to plan a release party. There is no better way to celebrate your new tracks than to play them live! Planning a tour can also be a great way to release an EP but requires a bit more organization and resources. If you want to go on tour, read our article about how to book your own tour as an independent artist.
Conclusion: How to release an EP the best way!
Overall, if you stay organized and put in the time and effort, you will be able to release an EP successfully and reach new audiences. By following the steps mentioned above, you can build hype around your project and take your music career to the next level. Don’t get discouraged and most importantly, don’t give up on promoting your project!