For people who have never released a music track, it’s a whole new world that’s as terrifying as it is exciting.
You could have a fair idea of how it should go, but when you’re just starting out, it’s easy to over-complicate simple things and undermine those that require the utmost attention and effort.
In other words, independent music artists just setting foot in the industry tend to worry more about the wrong stuff and get tangled with some common points of confusion.
That’s why all aspiring artists who want to take command of their careers and make smart, successful moves right off the bat must take the time to know what matters most when releasing new music.
Top 4 Things You Need to Know before Releasing New Music
1. Registering Your Copyright Shouldn’t Delay Your Music Release Plans
For musicians, copyright is an important legal concept. It sets the boundaries for what can and cannot be done with your music and helps you receive compensation for your hard work.
The fear of someone stealing their songs is so overwhelming among aspiring independent music artists that most don’t release a new track until they’ve copyrighted it.
Copyright infringement is rare in an industry where hundreds and thousands of new songs are released daily.
So while copyright registration is critical for securing legal protection for your work, it shouldn’t delay your plans to release new music.
Copyright registration is a process that can take several weeks or months, depending on the country where you are releasing your music. During this time, your music will still be legally protected by copyright, given that you’ve written down the lyrics, recorded a demo, and completed the song.
This means you don’t have to wait to release your music while your copyright registration application is being processed. Don’t let that excitement and steam die just because you’re afraid someone might steal your song.
2. The Pressure of Associating Yourself with Particular Performing Rights Associations (and Doing Extensive Research on Them) Is Unnecessary
A few industry veterans might warn you that you must affiliate yourself with particular organizations before you can call yourself a real music artist, implying that you shouldn’t take any steps to release your music until then.
Considering the many services these entities offer for music artists and the fact that many names may sound the same to you, it’s natural to get overwhelmed and feel the need to do a deep dive into what each service means and how it works.
Not to say that you shouldn’t associate with any of these platforms, but you shouldn’t get intimidated and focus all your energy on worrying about developing a full understanding of the various realms of the industry before you deem yourself ready to proceed.
The reason these entities exist is to do the work for you. Your focus should solely be on writing songs and releasing your next track.
Also, signing up with most associations like the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) is simple and hassle-free. Once you register your songs, you can trust these entities to collect all your publishing royalties.
3. You Can’t Expect People to Start Hearing Your New Song Just Because It’s Out There
You could have produced a kickass song for your target audience, but they wouldn’t care one bit—and why should they when it’s one of the thousands of songs released that day?
Your new song must be marketed the right way to get noticed. You can’t just release it and sit back and wait for people to find it. Your music marketing edge and the ability to tell a compelling story will make all the difference in how it performs.
So, what should you do to get the word out?
- Post about your new release on your social media channels and include a link to the song so people can listen to it with just a tap.
- Reach out to the media and tell them about your new song with a press release.
- Reach out to bloggers in the music industry who may be interested in writing about your new song.
- Use paid advertising to get your new song out there and get it heard.
- Perform live shows to get yourself noticed and build your audience.
4. Personal Connection with the Audience >>> Chasing Vanity Metrics
As an independent music artist, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers and vanity metrics when you release new music.
The number of Spotify streams and YouTube views, likes, and shares can all be important indicators of success. However, it’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, these metrics are not as important as the personal connection you make with your audience.
You must engage with people through social media, publish content they can relate to, and create a sense of community around your music. This will help create a long-term relationship with your fans—and this connection will be worth more than any single number or metric.
This loyal following will stick with you no matter what. These people will be more likely to share your music with their friends, buy your merchandise, attend your live shows, and become true members of your music family.
Although the ever-evolving musical landscape may be more confusing for independent music artists today than it used to be, it’s the best time to make a name for yourself and lay a solid foundation for your career.
Knowing the right time to release your track and how to market it for maximum exposure and building personal connections with listeners will make it easier to navigate the industry. More importantly, it will ensure that your attention and effort are invested in the right things.