#1 Reason Why No One Has Heard Your Album
It’s common for bands of the DIY variety to record, mix, master and release their album the minute the masters come back from the studio. There are several problems with that approach, the biggest being you’re not giving anyone time to really discover you. You may have an amazing masterpiece on your hands, but with so many distractions competing for attention, you can’t just expect people to find you on your art alone.
As a general rule, if you really want to set up your EP or album release the right way and expose your music to as many people as possible, you want to work three-four months in advance.
These are the reasons why:
1. They don’t know who you are.
You need to think like a journalist or blogger. Imagine you are NPR All Songs Considered and receive approximately 1000 emails per day. Your email just hit their inbox and they have no idea who you are. They have 999 other emails to get to that include bands they know and love. Chances are they will pay attention to what they already know over taking a chance on a band they don’t.
2. You are old news.
Notice the [new] part of news. That’s right: media is looking for bands who have something new to promote. Take that scenario above and replace it with a record that’s already been released, and you have just moved your project to the media’s discard pile. Traditional media deadlines are still important for print publications because they work three-six months in advance of their publication. Online media reduces that lead time, however, they still need time to become familiar with who you are before they will give real consideration. And places like NPR need to be pitched six-eight weeks ahead of time for some of their programs.
3. Multiple impressions.
It often takes multiple impressions before people start paying attention. Whether it’s a favorite song on the radio or a band that is emerging in the blogosphere, it often takes several times before they take notice. When we are running a campaign, we release several singles, a potential video, and announce the album or EP release. That way, when it hits three-four months down the road, we have a better chance of strong coverage. Imagine the proverbial snowball: with each roll (single, video, album) you are picking up more substantial coverage along the way.
You have to give the higher profile outlets an incentive to cover your band over all the others they already know. A premiere is a great way to grab their attention by allowing them the first shot at your song or album stream. If you’ve already released your music on itunes or Spotify, you’ve eliminated one of your greatest chances of coverage at places like SPIN, All Music Guide and American Songwriter who are often very receptive to emerging artists.
Green Light GO: Set a release date for your upcoming release that is at least three-four months down the road. Take a look at Band Hacks: The Best Time to Release Your Album to determine the best time to release your record.
Sharing is Caring: Know someone releasing their record without the three-four month lead time? Send them this article to move them in the right direction.
5 Reasons Why Your Favorite Music Blog Isn’t Covering You
What's Keeping the Music Industry from Discovering You?
Band Hacks: The Best Time to Release Your Album
How to Release Your Album Successfully (Even If You Don’t Have a Record Label)