Band Hacks: The Best Time to Release Your Album
We may only be two official days into summertime, but, believe it or not I’m already looking at CMJ and October.
Because we typically work a minimum of three months in advance of an album release to meet media deadlines and to help build awareness of the artist in advance of the release. All of this puts us smack dab in the middle of a fall release schedule.
And one thing I never, ever, ever, want to do for an emerging artist is schedule their album release in October. That is where an emerging indie band gets eaten alive, overlooked and pushed aside for the established bands who will always take precedence. I’ve seen great records die simply because there was so much competition.
We even had Pitchfork pass on a premiere of an established band last October simply because they didn’t have time. Come November the tide turned and they were two thumbs up for giving us coverage.
So this is my cheat sheet to release an album or EP if you are an emerging band.
January-This is a great month to release an album. Things start to quiet down with media the few months leading up to January and people are generally ready to dig in with zest and vigor after the holiday break.
February-SXSW starts to creep in and take over in February, so if you are releasing your album at this time, you want to do it before February 15th. The latter half media is inundated with SXSW performances and parties and will most likely pass on a band they’ve never heard of before.
March-Avoid a March release date unless you are already established and are playing SXSW. Otherwise, you stand a great chance of your album being overlooked just by the sheer amount of email media receives at that time.
April-A lot of established indie bands are still releasing records due to SXSW, so if you plan to release an album wait until after the middle of April when things thin out a bit.
May-August-This is a great time to release a record for an emerging band. Most of the coverage is around the festival circuit in the summer and there aren’t as many releases to compete with at the time.
September-The effects of CMJ will start to hit the later part of the month with established bands releasing records around back to school and the CMJ Music Marathon. If you are an established band, you should release your record before mid-September.
October-Do not release your record in October if you are emerging band. Hands down this is the worst month to release an album and many great records lose out on coverage simply because media doesn’t have time to look at it.
November-December - Before the advent of music blogs, it used to be taboo and relatively unwise to release anything in November or December. That has since changed and as long as you’ve began your promotion in August or early September, it can turn out really well. Like January, not as many indie bands release records at that time and so the field can be wide open for an emerging artist.
The Successful Guide to a Single Release Campaign
Sharing is Caring: Leave a comment below and tell us when you released your last record and how it went.