Utilizing And Maximizing The ‘Lost Time’ In The Year To Release Music
There is a not-so-mythical timeframe in which an independent artist should not release new music. This stagnant period stretches for a couple of months, and it’s a culmination of many things. The musical year is divided into four quarters, beginning in January and ending in December. These are split and dedicated to different stages of a song, album, or tour’s schedule and all play a significant part in promotion and reception. Part of being an independent artist working from the ground up entails knowing how to maneuver, so you can potentially get noticed and gain traction before you have the expanded network to do so.
Learn How To Be The Pilot When Releasing Music During Off-Season.
When is the worst time to release music as an independent artist and why?
The end of the fourth quarter, reaching into the first. Roughly around mid-November, to January. In the fourth quarter, most people of any significant influence (labels, managers, publicists writers, even fellow artists) have taken time off for the holidays, are traveling, or are in the process of cultivating the roll-out for an established artist’s release aimed towards the spring debut or summer hit. Often times, months go into the scheduling and execution of a single through press, visual media, social media and radio networks to try and ensure a song’s wide reach to an audience. As an independent artist, you’re entering an outrageously competitive and over-saturated market because of holiday music and a sales period that is aimed at capitalizing on an artist’s popularity to boost their already existing revenue in conjunction with the fairly universal gifting season. I.e., if you’re still in the early stages of your career, you’re doing yourself more of a disservice because of a lack of resources to advertise not currently at your disposal. It’ll be harder to catch someone’s attention because it is an extremely chaotic time of year, or it will get sucked into the undertow of a market you haven’t quite become a household name in. But there are ways to let this period work in your favor, and maximize the potential of getting your music into the right ears and hands.
What if I am an independent artist and have already set the release during the holiday season?
Luckily, as an inde-artist, you are in complete control of how things are promoted and released. With that said, if you have mistakenly entered the period that may be the most challenging for your traction, use the resources you have (social media, word of mouth, paid ads on instagram/facebook) and perhaps include a holiday incentive for your audience such a discount or some sort of package deal connected to future show tickets, previously released music etc. And continue to push the song promotionally through your content. The best you can do is to remind what network you have of the song’s existence and keep plugging at publications in the meantime. And take this time to plan, edit and refine your ideas for the coming year.
Is there anything I can do release-wise that would be beneficial during this time period?
There a few ways you can use this couple months or so to your advantage as an independent artist. If your initial plan was to release a new track within this period, consider releasing and an alternate version that would tease the eventual single in January. Put out an acoustic version, a remix, or even just a live recorded session and give your audience something to look forward to. Each release you put out should have about 6-8 weeks under its belt before it goes live, to ensure that it has the potential to be playlisted, promoted properly, or added to a publication that will give it the attention it deserves. This buys you time, and honestly, it’s only a benefit to you as an artist to have as many avenues as possible to support a piece of work you put so much time and hard work into.
This may seem so daunting, and there are so many hats you have to wear while introducing yourself to the world as a musician. However, if you believe in what you’re doing there are so many tools at your disposal to rise to the top. On top of being creative, you are also a business manager for how your work is seen, and you have complete control over how and when that happens. And never forget content. Content content content. Any slower period or lull in between releases is the perfect time to fill in with any visual media that represents your creativity and brand. Consistency is king when it comes to the digital world we are living in as artists.
Now that you know when to release your music, learn how to make money off your music with sync licensing, here.