No matter what time of the year it is, getting major traction on your new releases can be difficult. However, certain months will give you a better shot than others. To make the most of your release, choosing when to do it is half the battle. These are the best and worst months to release your music this year…
The Best and Worst Months to Release Music
*Disclaimer: Make sure you start your promotional efforts AT LEAST 4-6 weeks before your release or your distributor WILL hate you. ( If not hate, then any other negative emotion may apply.)
After the holiday season, everyone is recovering from the immense amount of food they ate and a slightly more immense holiday hangover. However, everyone is also getting back into the swing of things and eager to find the next big thing.
Generally, the first two months of the year are a great time to release new music. Why? The market isn’t as saturated as later on in the year, and the minds of your listeners are open to new things.
These themes do particularly well:
- workout songs
- positive messages
- upbeat / let’s get moving types of music.
Specifically in February:
- Love or anti-valentines day songs
- Songs about relationships (good or bad, either work)
Whatever you do, don’t release music in March if you’re a relatively unknown artist. SXSW is in full swing and all the media outlets are spending their time covering the action.
However, if you’re planning on performing at SXSW, that’s a different story. In this case, releasing your track(s) this month is something you definitely SHOULD do, as it can help get your work out there for publications to utilize in write-ups about the event / additional promo. If you’re not performing at SX, it’s a better idea to attend the event and do some networking to gain more exposure before your next release.
If you do decide to release this month, these themes tend to do well:
- Feel good, light, positive messages
- Upbeat/happy party tunes
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What To Do After Making Your Music Available Online
At this point, SXSW is over and touring season begins. Additionally, this month harbors Record Store Day. Think about partnering up with your local record store and doing some related promo. (Keep in mind, April 15th is the dreaded tax day in the US.)
Think about sticking to these themes:
- Songs about money (making it or losing it)
- Hopeful, positive messages
These themes always thrive during this month:
Now that summer is here, it’s good vibes and summer bangers galore. School is out and festival season is in full swing, qualifying these months as the perfect time to release music. If you can, get yourself some festival gigs. Festivals are a great place to perform your new release and rack up a ton of exposure.
Similar to May, these themes do exceedingly well:
- Summer fun, beach day anthems
By the end of August, the festival season starts to wind down and the school season makes its debut, but the summer vibes aren’t quite over yet.
The same themes from June/July also apply to August, making this a good month for new releases as well.
Now’s the time for emerging artists to really shine. Everyone in the industry is in the office more consistently, students are back in school, and everyone has their ears wide open to new music hitting the scene.
To optimize on the season, these fall themes do well:
- Sad / Moody / Angsty
- Cozy / Ambient
- Folk / Alternative
- (In October) spooky, badass Halloween bangers
Around this time of the year, industry folks tend to travel and be out of the office more frequently, the major labels’ biggest artists tend to release in the 4th quarter to take advantage of the holiday retail spike, and artists of all kinds are releasing holiday music.
If you have a New Year / Christmas / Holiday song, of course now is a great time to release it. However, the market is heavily saturated and anything other than holiday or end of the year vibes don’t tend to do well. Additionally, remember that once it gets closer to Christmas and the New Year, response time from industry gatekeepers will become more and more limited.
Having a great release strategy is the key to optimizing the success of your upcoming releases. An amazing song can end up not doing so well simply because of when it was released. Additionally, have a clear idea of when you will have your mastered audio and track or album art in hand before selecting a release date.
Sometimes unexpected things come up in the production process, so you’ll want to give yourself ample time to set everything up properly. The more prepared you are, the higher your chance of success.
So you’ve been added to a popular playlist on Spotify… Hell yeah! Getting your music placed on a great Spotify playlist means more exposure, a further reach and a major platform to back you up. Once you’ve been added, the work doesn’t end there. Here’s how to ride that wave and make the most of it…
What To Do After Being Added To A Spotify Playlist
Share it like CRAZY
First things first, FOLLOW the playlist! Then, treat getting on a major Spotify playlist just like a good press feature. The goal here is to pump up the exposure on your feature as much as you can. You want as many people to know about and stream it as humanly possible.
- Pin the playlist to the top of your Spotify profile, and include a good looking image alongside the pin.
- Share the playlist on all socials, not just the track, and tag accordingly. (That means tagging playlist supporters as well, i.e. Spotify, Deezer, etc.)
- Replace the playlist link in your bio for the next couple of days you are giving love to the playlist. (Playlisters love it when artists return the favor!)
- Ask your fans to share (and listen to) your track in the playlist.
- Try a sponsored post on Instagram with a link to the track on Spotify.
- Share to your IG Stories using the share feature on Spotify.
- Include it in your newsletter and/or website.
🧠 NOTE: Keep in mind, it’s very important you share the actual playlist rather than the song itself. When people like or save your song within that playlist, it improves the performance of your song within the playlist.
Don’t forget to reach out and thank the amazing playlist curator who gave you a shot and put you on the playlist! If they liked you enough to put you on the playlist, odds are they’ll be happy to hear from you.
Not sure how to find them? It’ll take a little bit of research, but Google is your best friend here. You should be able to find their email and send them a genuine thank you message or find their Instagram/Twitter handle and tag them when you share the news.
You never know, maybe this connection will lead to other playlist placements (and more) in the future.
Monitor Your Stats
Once you get featured on a Spotify playlist, be sure to keep an eye on your Spotify for Artists dashboard to track your streaming numbers and see how the playlist is impacting your stats. You should be checking this anyway, but seeing the proof in the pudding is a great way to see where else you could improve moving forward. For example, when choosing other tracks to pitch to other playlists.
Hit Up Other Playlist Curators
Use your success on this playlist to pitch your music to other playlist curators. If you’ve found another playlist that fits the vibe of your track, you can share it with the curator and explain how well it performed on the other playlist and why you think it would be a good fit for theirs as well.
Reinvest Your Earnings
Instead of blowing your success, do the future you a favor and put it towards marketing. Reinvesting your earnings from this placement into promoting future releases to keep the momentum going.
With Spotify Ad Studio, you can build an audio ad campaign in less than 10 minutes, create a new audio ad from scratch, forecast impression estimates based on your target audience, and track and manage all your campaign reporting, all in one place.
Once you’ve been featured on one playlist, there’s no reason to stop there! Use this momentum as leverage to get placed on even more playlists. Getting featured on a major Spotify Playlist feels like the equivalent to Willy Wonka’s golden ticket for musicians. Why settle for just one when you can go for the gold?
Keep in mind, you cannot pay to get on an official Spotify playlist. If someone or a third party company is offering placement on a playlist in exchange for money, what they’re really doing is illegal streaming manipulation.
Now that you’ve got this under your belt, don’t stop there. Keep the grind moving and let this momentum push you forward to bigger and better successes. If you’ve gotten featured once, there’s no reason you won’t continue to get featured as you progress throughout your career.
You got this!
In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the importance of protecting your creative works, particularly your music, has never been more prevalent. With the rise of online sharing and distribution, creators face new challenges in safeguarding their intellectual property. Luckily, our friends over at Cosynd have some tips to help you combat infringement effectively, including utilizing the new Copyright Claims Board. Here’s what you can do…
What To Do If Your Music Gets Stolen or Misused
Register Your Copyright
The first and most fundamental step in protecting your music is registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. This legal action establishes your ownership and strengthens your position in the event of infringement. In fact, you cannot legally enforce your rights as the owner without a registration in hand.
Monitor Your Content
Regularly track the use of your music online. Utilize digital tools and services to identify any unauthorized sharing or use. This proactive approach will help you identify potential violations promptly.
Issue Takedown Notices
If you come across instances of unauthorized use, issue Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices to the hosting platforms. This action prompts them to remove the infringing content.
Take Legal Action
If you find your work is intentionally reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without your permission, you can pursue legal action.
Note: New regulations mandate that you must have an official registration with the U.S. Copyright Office before you can file a lawsuit. Other types of registrations or mailing your music to yourself are not alternative precautions. Early registration can grant you a large payout — up to $150,000 per infringement PLUS your legal fees, but only if you register before your music is stolen or misused.
Get Justice Without Breaking the Bank
We understand that Federal Court isn’t always an affordable option. Excitingly, the new Copyright Claims Board (CCB) offers an accessible path to address infringements without excessive costs or the requirement to hire an attorney. The CCB operates independently of the courts and provides a streamlined process for resolving disputes of up to $15,000 per work and $30,000 per case.
This alternative to federal courts is designed to empower creators and copyright holders, offering a more accessible and less complex way to navigate disputes. Through its electronic filing and case management system, the eCCB platform, the CCB is equipped to handle three key types of copyright disputes, spanning copyright infringement, declaration of noninfringement claims, and disputes regarding misrepresentations in DMCA notices.
Engage Legal Assistance
In more complex cases, consulting legal professionals with expertise in intellectual property can be invaluable. They can guide you through legal proceedings and ensure that your rights are adequately protected.
By taking these steps, you not only safeguard your music but also uphold the value of your creative efforts.
After all the blood, sweat and tears it took to finally get your new music out into the world, it’s finally time to get as many people to listen to it as possible! From the technical stuff like registering with PROs to the fun stuff like social media promo, here are some of the most important things every musician should be doing after their release goes live. Let’s dive in…
What To Do After Making Your Music Available Online
Register with a PRO
To make sure you receive the royalties you’re rightfully owed, your songs need to be properly registered with either ASCAP, SESAC or BMI. Sadly, we can’t do this for you. Only you as the writer can affiliate with a PRO.
If your music is being distributed, performed worldwide, and you don’t have a publishing deal, your royalties are sitting in collection societies around the world waiting to be claimed by you. If you don’t register in time to collect your royalties, the collection societies will retain the royalties and you will miss out on that additional revenue. That’s why we created our publishing administration service to help you get through this process as easily as possible.
Register with SoundExchange
SoundExchange has paid out more than $7 BILLION in royalties to date. They are the sole organization designated by the U.S. Congress to collect and distribute digital performance royalties for sound recordings. They’re the ones who collect these digital performance rights from non-interactive music streaming on internet sources like SiriusXM and Pandora.
Sign Up for Lyric Distribution
Some distributors have partnerships for lyrics distribution and submission for example: Apple Music, Musixmatch, and LyricFind. With these partnerships, you’re able to streamline and expedite the submission process for faster turnarounds and less hassle.
Update your ‘Artist Pick’ on Spotify
Artist Pick is a great way to highlight what’s important to you right now, whether it be your latest release, playlist, show announcement, or even a Fan Support link. Check out the video below to learn how to do it…
Promote It On Socials
Social media offers an easy and effective method for promoting your latest track. To do so, start by creating a strategy tailored to your goals and target audience. Next, you can engage with your followers by posting your song in Reels, Stories, TikTok’s, and wherever else your fans frequent. You can also collaborate with fellow artists to expand your reach even further. Remember to utilize relevant hashtags, create visually appealing content, and consider running targeted ads for wider exposure. Lastly, always encourage user-generated content from your fans! Ask them to tag you in their own posts featuring your song, and get permission to re-post it on your own profile.
Pitch for Sync
When we talk about sync licensing in the music business, we’re referring to the act of synchronizing a piece of music with any form of visual media. That means getting your music featured in movies, TV episodes, commercials, video games, etc.
Get Some Press
After releasing new music, it’s always a good idea to send your music to music journalists, bloggers, and magazines for potential reviews and features. You can even share it in Facebook Groups, Reddit threads, or anywhere else where people can see your new song and share it with their communities.
You worked hard on your new track. Don’t let it get lost in the shuffle of thousands of songs trying to break through this crazy industry. Practicing things like consistently hyping yourself up on socials, optimizing your Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music, etc. profiles, and everything else we covered above, can make or break the performance of your work.
In the meantime, be proud of all your hard work! Keep going, be consistent, and believe in your talents as an artist.
So your fans are streaming your music and jamming away… Great! But what if you want more? Super fans will support you through thick and thin. Fostering deeper connections with your audience is a smart way to create a stronger fan base you can lean on throughout your career. Whether it be with a paid newsletter, exclusive merch, or a VIP subscription service, here’s how to convert casual fans into paying subscribers.
How to Convert Fans Into Paying Subscribers
Offer Something Worth Paying for
You have to think about what other artists in your genre are offering. For example, lots of artists offer early access to a new song, but if the song is going live to the public a couple weeks later, it’s not necessarily worth paying for in advance. Offer something uniquely exclusive, because everyone likes to feel special.
For example, you could start by simply mentioning your new subscription in an Instagram story. Mention an exclusive community that gets special treatment, for example: “… And we did a private concert for five of our fans, it was amazing… We even played them one of our unreleased songs.” Or offer other things like:
- Online concerts
- VIP virtual hangs
- Features on social media (Instagram Live, Twitter shoutouts, etc.)
- Access to unreleased music
- Behind the scenes content
- Autographed merch
Exclusive shit sells. Get creative with it! Think about things you’d want from your favorite artist and go from there.
Run Targeted Ads
Great advertising is a magical thing. Running targeted ads towards your current fanbase is a great way to reel in those who are already the most interested in your work.
Loyalty goes a long way. Give back.
Being a part of a community is a feeling like no other. Feeling connected and heard by your favorite artist is worth a subscription any day. When you get a new subscriber, do something special for them to show you care. Give back by promoting your subscribers on socials. Anything to create a personalized and thoughtful experience will do.
- You could try something on social media like, #followbackfridays, where you follow back everyone who subscribes to your service that day. (That doesn’t mean tagging everyone in one post, by the way. There’s nothing personal about that.)
- Record personalized thank you videos for subscribers via Twitter or Instagram.
- Invite a couple fans to join an Instagram Live with you.
It’s important to show your subscribers how thankful you are for their patronage and actually put in the work. Because without them, where would you be?
Have a Social Media Strategy
Promoting your new service on socials is the best way to stay on top of everyone’s minds. Just don’t overdo it. Don’t harass your followers with a million posts a day begging for their interest. Keep it casual but consistent. Be engaging.
Having a great CTA works wonders, but you don’t want to overwhelm your audience. When in doubt, a simple “here’s what I’m doing, here’s why it’s awesome, and here’s why you’ll dig it” should do the trick..
Just be consistent, offer something they can’t wait to get their hands on, and always be yourself. Your fans will see your spark and naturally want a part of it. You got this.
This year, holiday marketing has been starting earlier than ever. If you’re looking to sharpen your holiday marketing skills on Instagram, this post will give you everything you need to know to make the most of your efforts. No problem. From tips and tricks to help you expand your reach to making more sales this holiday season, here’s what we know…
7 Tips For Holiday Marketing On Instagram
Run a Seasonal Giveaway
Instagram accounts that do contests or giveaways grow 70% faster than those that don’t. Not only that, giveaways entice both current followers and potential new ones to engage. This increased engagement signals to Instagram’s algorithm that it should feature you more regularly in your audience’s feed.
What better way to engage your audience for the holidays than with a giveaway! Consider giving away things like:
- Limited edition merch
- Early download access to your new EP
- Signed vinyl
- A holiday care package (merch, vinyl, CD’s, a holiday card, candy, etc., all in one)
The holidays are about giving back and showing you care. Let your marketing reflect that, too.
Shoppable Instagram Posts
50% of US consumers do their holiday shopping at the last minute. Want to drive sales to your site? Make shopping for those last minute holiday gifts as easy as possible with Shoppable Instagram posts. This feature lets you to tag your products in your posts and link them to your website for your fans to purchase with ease.
(To be approved for Instagram Shopping, you’ll need to meet these requirements. Click here to learn how.)
Collaborate with Similar Artists
You’re not the only one looking to generate leads on Instagram during the holiday season. What better way to combine your efforts and get twice the reach by collaborating with another artist?
Just like brands partner with influencers to tap into their audiences, you can do the same.
Do you have connections with an artist who’s got a similar fanbase to yours? — Go on Instagram Live together or do your own respective posts within your feeds to promote each others merch, that limited edition vinyl that would make a perfect gift, a new single that just dropped, etc.. This extends both your views’ into both audiences.
Everybody wins! 🙏
Instagram ads are a secret weapon for gaining potential customers with ease. Instagram targets the exact audiences with the most potential for engagement, helping you gain exposure in all the right places.
The holidays are a great time for people to buy tickets to shows for their loved ones. A great way for you to use this to your advantage is to sign up for affiliate programs. With these, you can share their affiliate links in your Instagram posts or stories to promote tickets to you or your fellow musician friends’ shows. When your followers make a purchase through your link, you earn a commission.
For example, brands like StubHub, Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster all have pretty good affiliate programs. So whether your fans are buying tickets to your shows or other artists’, as long as they use your code, you get a cut. Doesn’t get much easier than that.
Run Exclusive Offers
I mean… who doesn’t like exclusive stuff? The holiday season means everyone is looking for the perfect, unique gift for that special music lover in their lives. What’s better than some limited edition merch from their favorite artist?
Consider offering limited time discounts on select products or drop a limited run of holiday themed merch. Get into the holiday spirit and offer something special to your audience that they just can’t pass up.
Engage with Holiday User Generated Content
You’re not the only one posting your holiday joy on Instagram. Tons of other artists (and fans) are doing their part and adding to the plethora of festive content coming out at this time of the year. Encourage your community to interact with one another by posting Instagram Stories asking about their favorite holiday songs, artists, snacks, activities, or whatever else comes to mind.
You can repost this content onto your own page and encourage a conversation. Don’t forget to get everyone to use a common hashtag so we can all get in on the action. This is community at it’s finest!
The holiday season brings in more sales than any other time of the year. With these tips and tricks, you’re on the right track to perfecting your marketing game on Instagram in no time.