Is Your Single a Flop?
“Oh well, there’s always the next single.”
“It doesn’t seem like anyone is interested.”
These are two things I often hear from bands following the first week of pitching media on a single. This is often after only seeing ten to 20 outlets cover the band. Did I mention it was after only one week actively promoting the release?
There’s often a sense of panic from musicians after that first week – the band invested a lot of money – and it’s already a flop.
It’s not, I promise.
Here’s a reality check. It’s really great to see ten to 20 placements in the first week, on a single from a band nobody really knows. In fact, it’s almost unheard of for an unknown band. What you should be doing is patting yourself on the back for writing a song people instantaneously love.
So, what is realistic? Anywhere from two to ten placements are absolutely normal. The chances of seeing any results in one week are highly unlikely. Whether we like it or not, it takes time to build awareness and interest. And that rarely happens in the time frame of seven days.
Sure, Grimes, Animal Collective or Andrew Bird are going to see coverage in the first week on a newly released single (most likely in the first two days). But if you haven’t built to their level of success, then the writers at Pitchfork or The Line of Best Fit aren’t going to drop everything and move you to the top of the stack.
There’s a reason why we require 12-16 weeks lead time prior to an album or EP release. We factor in the blogger needs time to get to the band they don’t know. We factor in we may have to pitch various outlets anywhere from two to ten times, to a variety of writers, with a variety of angles before they’ll start paying attention and actually listen to the music we send them. We factor in some weeks no one will respond or cover because they are simply too swamped with what they already have on their plate.
It’s also the reason why we don’t run single release campaigns. Sometimes a single truly is a flop. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, media just doesn’t react to what they are hearing. Sometimes they are simply too busy during the life of the single to get to the band they’ve never heard. When you have an EP or album however, you have other singles – you have an album or EP – which gives you new opportunities for coverage.
So if you’re not a band with recent indie credibility from your favorite hipster blogs, what can you expect? Your single is going to take anywhere from two weeks to six weeks to build. That’s great news, because despite what you might have been told, the single isn’t over in the first week. An unknown band does get some wiggle room and a longer life span if the single is still fresh (released within the past month).
If the single is great, it will get covered, just maybe not with the immediacy you thought. And if doesn’t? There’s always the next single.
Green Light Go: If you just released your single and no one is responding start reading the blogs on your list. Find out why they would love your band and then give it another go.
Sharing is Caring: Know someone complaining about the newly released single no one covered. Send them this article.