There is so much to do when you prepare a release as an independent artist that you don’t always know where to start. That’s why we’ve prepared this ultimate checklist, a guide to planning your release schedule to help you not forget anything and optimize your single release.
Groover allows you to promote your music efficiently and to receive constructive feedbacks guaranteed within 7 days. It is one of the best ways to gain visibility on your new release.
Before setting up your backlog and thinking about a release date, it is always important not to rush and check the quality of the musical project. Does the track sound like you? Are you satisfied with the mix? Do you see any obvious points of improvement? Take the time to think about all these questions and to collect the opinions of your relatives. If you have any doubts, if you feel that something is missing in your single, you can even turn to the mentors and sound specialists on Groover to get constructive feedback on your track.
Once the creative part of your music project is finished, you can then look at your release schedule and prepare an optimal promotion strategy for your single.
To prepare for your next release, make sure to integrate these elements in your backlog:
- Make sure your WAV& MP3 files have the right metadata to facilitate certain sharing (e.g. radio programming).
- Prepare your artwork and other visual content for distribution on streaming platforms and promotion on social networks before and after the release.
- Update your press kit and website to share your world with industry pros easily.
- Make sure your music video and Spotify Canvas video are ready to showcase your music and get more exposure.
- Prepare or reorganize your smartlink that contains all your important links for your music project and release. You can add your different social networks, your website if you have one and during the releases you can highlight your video and your Fanlink to redirect people to the streaming platforms, …
- Create a pre-save link campaign so that your fans can save your track in advance in the streaming platforms and it will be directly available in their library when it is released. This will remind your fans of the release and boost your stats on the streaming platforms as soon as it is released.
One of the first steps to get your retro planning off to a good start is to establish a budget – how much will you be able to invest in single promotion? Remember to take into account all the ad campaigns you plan to launch, Groover campaigns, digital distribution, merchandising potential, …
Concerning the date, the preferred day for music releases is Friday because it allows to potentially enter the algorithmic playlists of the streaming platforms. We advise you to check that there are no major events or highly anticipated artist releases to choose a date to avoid being overshadowed by the news. Once the release date is set, you can create a backlog of about 4 weeks until D-day.
When you upload your music with the digital distribution service you will have chosen, don’t forget to take into account the release time on the streaming platforms to set the ideal date!
Here are some key steps to incorporate into your music release checklist:
- Register the song with ASCAP/BMI or your corresponding PRO (Performing Rights Organizations) when you have the final recording
- Prepare the digital distribution of your song with the distributor of your choice by respecting a good margin compared to your release date.
- Prepare the ground for the streaming platforms. Before the release of your music, consider pitching your track to Spotify’s editorial team from Spotify for Artists for a chance to get into their editorial playlists.
- Be active on social media. Engage with your audience, tease your fans about the release with visuals and other content you’ve prepared. You can for example post a clip of your video to get the attention of your subscribers!
- Send a Groover campaign targeting media, journalists and radios to gain visibility as soon as your song is released. Groover allows you to contact the best professionals of the music industry among more than 1300 contacts in the world. It’s a great way to get your release talked about, to gain visibility and to find a professional entourage, but also to export your music internationally.
Congratulations, it’s release day! Check out this checklist for the big day:
- Post your video. If you decide to release your video on the day of the release of your song on the streaming platforms, remember to make the video public on Youtube at the announced time.
- Create your Fanlink that allows you to group the major streaming platforms on which your song is distributed.
- Announce the release on your social networks. Post on the networks sharing the link to the streaming platforms via your Fanlink for example. We think in particular of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter but you can post on all your networks! Encourage your subscribers to discover the track on the streaming platforms, to like it, to subscribe and to share. The ratio of streams/likes/subscribers/repeats will be decisive for your entry in algorithmic playlists.
- Send an email campaign to your contacts in the music industry. As an artist, you’ve probably been in contact with, or at least tried to get in contact with, a lot of music industry pros. If you haven’t, consider preparing a list of contacts before the release of your song – you need to think of pros who could relay your music or bring something to your music project.
- Launch a Groover campaign targeting playlists and channels to gain immediate exposure. This is the perfect time to send a Groover campaign to playlist curators – don’t forget to include your Spotify playlist link (for example) to make it easier to share the track! If you have a video you can also send it to Youtube channels that like your music genre.
It’s not time to slack off yet! Check out our post-release checklist:
- Keep promoting on social networks on your account. You can for example share feedbacks you received, important statistics for you about the release of your song, content about the backstage of your musical project, ask for feedbacks from your fans about the track… Try to engage your community as much as possible around the release.
- Prepare an ad campaign on Facebook and Instagram to increase your visibility and increase your audience on social networks and indirectly on Spotify.
- Boost your playlists. Don’t hesitate to add your new track to your own playlists! If you include similar artists who are further along in their career in your playlists, they may end up on their profile as “Discovered on” and this can bring you some extra visibility.
- Follow up with the contacts you sent emails to for the release. It’s always hard to get feedback on email campaigns, so don’t hesitate to follow up with people who haven’t responded or who haven’t followed up yet.
- You might have some credits left over from your first Groover campaigns, so it might be a good idea to do a small complementary campaign to consolidate the promotion around your release and maybe reach countries where you don’t have fans yet.
We hope that you will approach the release of your song with serenity with this checklist!
– Translated by Betty Gonzalez Gray –