The New Release Cycle – How to Release Music in 2024

The music industry has changed dramatically over the past few years, and the release cycle is one area that has evolved considerably. 

Like it or not, it’s likely that these changes will only continue to accelerate, and if you want to grow a fanbase you’re going to have to adapt to this new way of doing things. 

One of the most obvious trends is the shift away from traditional album releases and towards a more consistent cycle of content output. 

While full-length albums still have a place in the industry, many artists are now choosing to release songs on a more frequent basis – with a common target for a lot of artists being a release every month.

Not only does this increased frequency have algorithmic benefits for the streaming platforms, it also allows artists to engage more often with their audience. 

This ties in with the general shift towards a more consistent cycle of content creation. 

It’s no secret that content creation is a major part of any marketing strategy for an artist today. More frequent releases tie into this strategy, giving you more material to work with across your platforms. 

But this doesn’t come without downsides, and reports of burnout across the industry are commonplace. 

So even though the more frequently you can release content the better, ultimately the best release cycle is going to be the one that works for you. 

That being said, there are a few things that you can do to help embrace this new release cycle approach. 

Embrace imperfection

One of the biggest issues for artists is perfectionism. The majority of time spent on creating music is spent on the subtle changes that your average listener will not notice. 

Your track is already pretty much finished, but you keep finding flaws, or small areas for improvement which means the track is heavily delayed. 

If you have an audience of millions, then it makes sense to get things as polished as possible, but when you have a small audience it’s so much more beneficial to just get it shipped and out into the world. 

If you can embrace imperfection, it’s likely that you will be able to free up a lot of the time and stress involved in making things perfect. 

Focus on Consistent Output and Engagement

Consistency is one of the most important things to keep in mind when trying to build a fanbase. The more often people hear your name, or interact with your content, the more familiar they are going to feel – and the more likely they are to turn into fans of your work. 

Being consistent with your output (not just music, but social media content), provides more opportunity for this to happen. 

If you’re not at the stage where you have a diehard fanbase, you probably can’t disappear for a couple of years and come back with new music expecting it to make waves. 

You need to keep the momentum going, stay in the forefront of people’s minds, and be engaged with the community. 

Repurpose Your Content Effectively

If you’re going to stay sane while managing all your content, you’ll need to learn how to repurpose and repost effectively. 

Content creation is time consuming, and so for every bit of content you create you should be thinking about where else you can utilize it effectively. 

Almost every part of the process of creating music can be documented and used for marketing purposes – in the studio, album artwork design, canvas design, samples used, inspiration behind the song. 

The more effectively you can manage repurposing this content and using it to communicate with your audience, the better the results from your marketing will be.  

Rinse, Repeat

There’s a whole lot to get done on a regular basis if you’re aiming to keep up with the release cycles of today. 

But, by embracing imperfection and encouraging more frequent interaction with your audience across your channels you should start to see momentum build, and those monthly listeners keep increasing.

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