Are you an independent artist looking to connect with new music fans? The musical landscape is saturated with singles and playlists, so some artists may consider releasing an EP as opposed to a full album. Founder, Chairman, and CEO of GUION PARTNERS INC, Lindsay Guion provides some insight to help artists further understand the best format to release their music in to connect with the most listeners and maximize impact.
Define Your Objective
The first question to ask yourself is why? Why are you releasing your music to the public and what do you hope to gain? Most artists release music for one of two main reasons: to connect with fans and to grow their brand. Deciding what you hope to gain by your next music release will help you select the best way to release and market it.
In today’s digital download and streaming age, it can be difficult to know how to reach an audience.
An extended play record (most commonly referred to as an EP) is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single but is typically too short to be characterized as an album. Lindsay Guion claims that for individuals just entering the music scene, releasing an EP is an affordable way to start receiving immediate feedback from listeners.
He states that some artists are better off releasing Eps as the shorter format allows them to capture immediate creativity without having to formulate an extensive collection of songs. Ultimately, Eps provide artists with the opportunity to explore new avenues and devote their efforts to one small project at a time.
Releases with seven or more tracks are often labeled as albums and will appear that way on platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify.
Lindsay Guion claims that an album is a significant time commitment and should be a cohesive representation of an artist’s sound and style. Although creating an album can take up to 12–24 months, it is also a means to generate a substantial fan base.
For individuals looking to maintain a sustainable career in the music industry, the album is a great way to showcase your musical abilities. Likewise, having an entire lineup of songs makes it easier to book live performances and provides the option of releasing future singles.
Lindsay Guion’s Tips for Generating a Buzz
Consider utilizing social media to start building a brand and connecting with other artists and music venues. This will allow fans that hear your music for the first time, to follow you for future music releases.
If you already have a library of music, consider creating a stronger online presence with a website where fans can find your entire online music catalogue and most importantly, sign up for email updates.
To increase fan engagement, Lindsay Guion recommends offering a free track they cannot get anywhere else in exchange for sharing an email address and “signing up” for future news alerts. Creating this simple marketing infrastructure will help you generate awareness for your first music release and more importantly help prepare for future ones.
Once you have released a successful EP it’s important to continue to engage with these fans on a regular basis. You can share photos and videos, let them in on your creative process with behind-the-scenes content and promote future shows. You can also incorporate their feedback and release updated song versions. Once you have hit your stride, consider investing in a mixtape, another EP or a CD release that includes updated versions of the songs your fans like best!