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Know-how for musicians

Why I should regularly release singles

February 4, 2021

Today, we show you how you can mix up your single-game, why regular output is more important than ever, and how streaming has drastically changed listening habits.

The age of singles has brought with it quite a few new challenges. In the past, artists might have released a new album every 2-3 years, but today, people expect a more frequent output. Many experts even suggest releasing something new every 4-6 weeks, which adds up to 8-13 songs per year, which is pretty much a whole album. Some artists these days even operate by releasing each song in an album as a single first, so the album later only becomes a collection of those singles.

The benefits

  • You always have music you can promote
  • The number of monthly listeners continues to grow or at least remains constant
  • You always pop up in the release radar of your listeners
  • The algorithms of the streaming services reward constant output
  • Every few weeks, you can pitch a new song for playlists
  • In a time where the general attention span is becoming shorter and shorter, the listeners won’t forget you so quickly
  • You need a smaller budget than you would for an album

Newcomers should definitely release a few singles first, have their profiles verified, and only then start thinking about a bigger project. After a long musical break, as well, you should start back up with a few singles first. But even established artists whose focus is on EPs and albums should regularly release new singles in between bigger projects. However, going off the radar for two years is something practically no one can afford to do these days.

Different singles

Not every artist can create a song every month that lives up to their creative standard. And that’s not necessarily a must; there are other ways to keep up the output.

  • Lead and follow-up single: Launch your album and increase your chances of getting into big playlists
  • Unused material: The best leftovers are perfect for a release in between projects
  • Alternative versions: Your fans will also appreciate acoustic, demo and live versions of your songs
  • Remixes: Have your songs remixed or bring in another artist and add them to your existing track.
  • Cover songs: Share your version of your favourite songs with the world.
  • You can also re-release a song as a single when it’s already been out. You can, for instance, add an alternative version or a remix, because according to the definition on Spotify and Apple Music, a single can include up to three tracks.

Promote your single

Even though less work and money go into making a single than an album, you should still give it your full attention and promote it accordingly.

  • Use pre-saves
  • Make sure that the song shows up in the release radar
  • Send your track to bloggers and the media
  • Shoot a video and set up a premiere for it

Albums are still relevant

Even though singles are becoming more and more important, albums and EPs are still relevant. With an album you can tell a bigger story around which you can build a campaign and which you can monetize, for instance, by selling merchandise.

For many, albums continue to rank higher, among them the media. While streaming services may reward a big output, they, too, attach great value to albums. You can already notice this by the fact that on Spotify, albums are shown before singles.

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