Artist Release Checklist
So, you’re just about to release your song. Good on you! Here’s a few handy tips we’ve put together. You don’t have to follow this list line by line and you might have a completely different timeline in mind. Remember, MANY artists do things differently and in a different order (you do you!) but it’s a handy checklist of things you could do that will help make it really POP!
SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS OUT
ASSETS ASSETS ASSETS. As well as your mixed and mastered song, make sure you have all your assets ready to go and a timeline mapped out. This includes:
- A new press image. This will be your ‘hero’ image for the single campaign and posted across all your social media platforms, included on your bio and in your press release.
- Single/ EP/ album artwork. We can help with this if you’re stuck for a designer – let us know at email@example.com
- Create a shareable online drive on Dropbox or Google Drive. Put your bio, press image, lyrics, WAV and MP3 files in there.
- Upload and create a ‘private’ Soundcloud link for your track to share with selected people before it’s released
- Create and format an updated bio for your project. It’s great to have a short version (200 words) and a long version (up to 500 words) available.
- Create any additional social media material e.g. cover images for the different platforms you use / event page headers if you’re announcing a tour/ tour poster
- Put together a list of social media content you will aim to put out over the course of your campaign. You might like to do up a schedule of when you are going to post as well.
- Form an idea of the ‘message’ you want to convey about this new piece of work you have created. What are the themes? What do the lyrics mean to you that you want people to know about?
- Create any additional social media material e.g. cover images for the different platforms you use / event page headers if you’re announcing a tour/ tour poster. Think about the video content you’re going to create for shortform video platforms like TikTok, Reels and Shorts and begin banking it in a folder for roll out time.
- Create a simple website and set up a professional email newsletter online software so you can email your fans directly. We recommend using Linktree, milkshake, Squarespace,Shopify music glue or Wix for your website. You can also use mailchimp to email fans.
- If you’ve got a brand new project, set up your artist social media accounts. Invite your friends to your page and begin gathering followers. In our opinion, it’s great to be on YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. However, if you’re familiar with only a few, stick with them. Try to make your username and branding (eg profile picture) uniform across all platforms – that way, it will be easier to find you across multiple channels.
- For facebook and Instagram we recommend using Meta Business Manager as you can schedule content. In as little as one hour you can schedule a week’s worth of posts.
- If you’re already established on social media, let people know you’re working on something new.
FOUR WEEKS OUT
- By this point, you really need to have decided on a concrete release day. You will need to upload your music so it’s delivered to stores in time for release day. Allow a minimum of 10 days for this process – more if you can. We can deliver your song to online stores for you and also transfer your existing catalogue across. Find out more HERE. If you’ve already submitted and made a mistake, you can contact support through your artist dashboard.
- Register your tracks with your chosen performance and mechanical rights organisation in your territory. You’ll need your ISRC code for this – it’s an internationally recognised tracking code for music. You will be issued one when you upload your music to LOUDmusic if you need one.
TWO WEEKS OUT
- You can look up some potential blogs and playlists by visiting Submithub or Groover. You might want to try to lock in a premiere for your track at this time, and contact any other press contacts you have to get coverage for the song.
- This is a really good time to pitch your track for editorial playlists via the Spotify for Artists pitching tool and Amazon for Artists pitching tool. If you’re a new artist and you don’t have a Spotify for Artist’s account yet, ask your distributor for a link so you can gain access.
- Begin reaching out to a few key blogs and radio shows to let them know your release date and ask for feedback. Send them some quick dot point info about you and your single (no more than five dot points) and your release date and link them to a private soundcloud streaming link, your bio and press image. It’s best to link them to the Google Drive or Dropbox folder you made earlier. Large attachments can get lost.
- This is a good time to market your Spotify pre-save and share it on your channels. We’ll send you one for Free!!.
ONE WEEK OUT
- It’s almost time! Time to get your fans excited! Tease the release date with a post on your social media channels. If there’s a video, you might like to share a snippet from it. Or you might like to share a story about the track or the single/ album artwork.
- This is also a good time to share your pre-save Linkfire on your social media channels. If you need help finding this we can help!
- During this week you could change your profile picture to your new press image across your social media platforms.
- Have you got a video? You might like to set up a YouTube premiere and make sure your channel is optimised for launch. More info is HERE.
- Update your website and all online profiles with any recent bios and pictures. This includes Spotify, Apple Music, Facebook ‘about’ page, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok.
- Tease the upcoming song through your socials each day and try to get as many presaves as possible.
- Upload a Spotify Canvas video for your track. This is the vertical loopable video that shows when you play a song via Spotify on your phone. More info HERE
DAY OF PREMIERE (OPTIONAL)
- If you have secured a premiere for your track/ EP/ album online or on the radio, it would be ideal for it to land either the day before or only a few days out from the wider release of your track.
- On the day of your premiere, make sure you give a shout out to the media outlet who ran it across your social media networks and say thanks.
DAY OF RELEASE
- Your smartURL will rescan on release day and provide links to all major streaming platforms.
- Post your track EVERYwhere you can think of. On your socials and elsewhere. If you have a database of fan emails, you might want to email them with the new song..
- Log onto submithub or Groover.co and send your track out to a few blogs and playlists you think might like it.
- Change over your facebook cover image to reflect the new release
- Register your lyrics on Genius.com – you can also apply to become a verified artist on Genius.com.
- Plus, we recommend also registering your lyrics on Musixmatch – this is the site that pulls lyrics for instagram stories.
- Post on instagram reels, TikTok and YouTube shorts about your new song. Not sure what to post? Follow a few artists you admire and see what they’re doing. These are the three platforms we would recommend posting on the most. Use the delivered audio on-platform to create a video to share your release. Don’t worry if it’s not polished, the more organic and naturally ‘you’ the better. You can also post the same content across all three platforms, don’t tire yourself out creating content for each one. Try to post as often as you can, using the delivered audio for at least two weeks following your release.
- Make sure you are pushing for people to engage with your Spotify profile. Especially the ‘follow’ button.
- Sign up for Spotify for Artists and Apple for Artists and check if you have been added to any playlists. If you have, share the good news on social media – be sure to tag and say thanks. Chartmetric
- Make your new release a ‘priority track’ on Spotify. You can do this via your Spotify for Artists page and update your Spotify profile pic.
- Keep an eye on your socials. Be sure to thank as many people as you can who engage with your track
- Update your profile and lyrics on all the platforms that you possibly can.
- Gather up a ‘bragging’ sheet for your project. Choose your best ‘wins’ and compile them into a document. These could be reviews, notable radio plays, media quotes, info about playlists you have been on or other notable things you’ve done. Use this as a tool for when you contact other industry professionals about your music such as booking agents, managers and publishers.
BONUS! ALBUM & EP RELEASE TIPS
THINKING OF RELEASING A BIGGER BODY OF WORK? HERE’S SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE
- Our advice? Don’t release your whole album/EP at once. You’ve worked so hard on it so milk it as much as you can! Choose some singles and release them at least 4-6 weeks apart from each other ahead of the full album, – it helps to build the story across your socials and get your fans excited for your album/EP when it arrives.
- One release strategy that’s quite popular is a ‘waterfall’ release strategy. This means each new single you release during your album campaign timeline sits next to the previous one on streaming services. This helps your fans to be able to find and listen to your recent singles more easily. For more information on how to load your album/EP singles up for a waterfall strategy, contact our support team.
- If you’re pitching to media for album reviews, it’s good to remember that many monthly and quarterly print publications need the album at least 2-3 months before release day or more as they work quite far in advance with editorial deadlines.
- Have a think about social media content you can create around your album to help connect the content with fans. Some ideas include a track by track breakdown, sharing lyrics, behind the scenes studio footage or photos, sharing reactions from fans, or asking fans which track they like the best + don’t forget to celebrate your album/EP release anniversary on social media!
- Register your lyrics on Genius.com – you can also apply to become a verified artist on Genius.com.
BONUS! TOUR ANNOUNCE TIPS
JUST ANNOUNCED A LIVE SHOW OR TOUR? DON’T FORGET TO DO THESE THINGS! THEY’RE ABSOLUTELY FREE TO DO AND THEY MIGHT JUST HELP YOU SELL OUT YOUR SHOW!
- Set up a facebook event for each show and invite your friends. Make sure you include the artist name, tour name and location in the title of the event plus don’t forget all ticketing details.
- List your gigs on Bandsintown. If you have a followers on Bandsintown you can also send them a message through the app for free!
- List your gigs on Songkick. After a few days they’ll appear on your Spotify profile! To do this, go to tourbox.songkick.com
- Post about your gig on socials (insta/ facebook/ twitter). If it’s a ticketed show, make sure you have a link to buy tickets in your instagram bio. You can house multiple links in your insta bio by signing up to linktr.ee/
- Send an email to your fan database. Let them know about the shows! If they’ve supported you before, they’re likely to support you again.
- In the lead up to the shows, make sure you’re posting weekly in your facebook events. You might like to post a music video, press interviews, announcement about the supports or anything you like really! You’ve got a captive audience, so talk to them!
- Make sure at the very least, the venue/s have announced the tour on their socials. If they can put up posters in venue, that’s great too!