How to get the most return from your music release

When releasing a major project – such as a new song or music video – make sure you put ample time and effort into the pre-release promotion.

Dropping a post on Facebook saying “New song coming next week!” is not ample time! (nor effort!)

It’s a waste to spend so long on creating a piece of art only to throw it into the sea and hope it floats.

Ideally, you want to be able to use the same piece of art repeatedly, in different re-purposed ways, in the lead-up to the release date.

That way you can squeeze the most juice out of your new asset.

This idea is perhaps best demonstrated with an example:

Let’s say you’ve just made your latest music video.

You’re really proud of it and the temptation is to flood the Internet with it ASAP – you want everyone to enjoy it whilst you’re buzzing from the high of completion.

But, by releasing it in one fell swoop, you are diminishing the impact you could make with it.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Whilst you make it, in all the stages of creation, post about it on your blog and social media.
    • Use photos, videos, text and audio snippets; tell the story.
    • Keep your posts short but regular.
  2. Once it’s completed release the song, or audio-only of the video, to your private Member’s Club; you’re hardcore fans who pay a monthly subscription for access to your music
    (you can either set this up yourself, or use services like Bandcamp or Patreon to do it for you)

    • Promote the Member’s Club release publicly; use it to drive interest in joining your club
  3. A week after, drop an audio teaser of the song on your various channels (perhaps 15-30 seconds) with signposting to drive people to your Member’s Club to hear the whole thing
    • Promote this release publicly
  4. A week later, release the video to your Member’s Club
    • Promote the Member’s Club release publicly
  5. A week later, release a trailer of the music video on your social channels, again, sign-posting it back to your Member’s Club
    • Promote this release publicly
  6. A week later, put together a “Special Edition” download of your new song and start promoting its upcoming release in your shop. You could include:
    • The song
    • The video
    • Behind the scenes videos and interviews
    • High-quality digital posters
    • Artwork
    • The lyrics
    • Shooting script
    • Stories behind the song and video concept
    • anything you can think of! 🙂
  7. Release the Special Edition in your shop and promote it publicly
  8. Release a second trailer on YouTube, this time pointing people to your shop to buy the Special Edition, and promote it publicly
  9. A week later start drip-feeding the release of official artwork, with an official release date of the full music video of a month into the future
  10. Promote a pre-screening opportunity; people signed up to your mailing list will get a week-early preview – start driving traffic to your sign up
  11. Contact all the blogs you know and offer them a preview of the video, and ask them to write about it and offer their readers the chance to see a 2 day early pre-release of your video
  12. Build up to the official release of the music video with more artwork and posts, and a Thunderclap campaign.
  13. Release the video on YouTube only and promote it across all your channels, pointing people to YouTube
  14. A couple of weeks later post it natively on Facebook, along with a fresh round of promotional posts across all your channels, pointing people to Facebook
  15. A few weeks later release it on download services, like iTunes, along with another spate of promotional posts
  16. A few weeks after that, release it on streaming services, like Spotify, along with more promotional posts

Just this plan alone would draw out the release of your new music video from days, or weeks to many months.

It would also ensure you get the maximum revenue return from your art; subscription, sales (and merch), advertising (i.e. YouTube), downloads and streaming.

Obviously, there is a lot more you can do (advertising, PR, gigging, online concerts, lyric videos, etc) but, hopefully, this gives you an idea of how you might squeeze the most amount of value from a single piece of art.

So, before you put out your next release, make sure you’ve a solid plan to reap the maximum reward for your creative endeavour.