How to Release New Music to the World

To have a successful music release, there is a lot to consider. Don't rush it. Plan it well. Take advantage of all the tools for promoting the album or song.

There are lots of tips below, from the need for a music video to getting on a Spotify playlist. But, we want to start by telling you how to take advantage of your website and how to use your new songs to help you build your fanbase and increase your sales.


Don't Record Just One Song & Release it. Here's why:
Music Labels have had lots of fails signing artists that are "One Hit Wonders". Labels and the music industry overall want to know that you have the talent and the drive to go the distance. One way to prove this is not to record just one song and release it, but record at least a four song EP... 6 to 10 songs is best. You can still release these songs one at a time to streamers in an effort to promote your album. Click here to see what industry professionals are saying?
Another good reason to do this is that streaming royalties are low. They usually don't even pay for the recording or the money you spend on promo. The good news is that fans are buying more music and merch again. You can use the Rhythmic Rebellion all-inclusive sales platform to offer pre-orders of your album or individual songs, PLUS attach scrolling lyric karaoke, and a 10 track stem player for each song. You can also build an Artist Premiere page on your site - including all of kinds of exclusive content for your fans, such as videos of you in the studio/on tour, unreleased or acoustic versions of songs, or even videos of you talking about the creation of your music...whatever you think your fans will love and appreciate! You can charge your fans to access it or give it away using our gift code generator in order to capture fan emails and build a fanbase you can communicate with.
  • Why your fans should buy your album on your Rhythmic Rebellion website:
    • They get an experience they can't get anywhere else. 
    • Your website comes with Apple and Android apps they can download to enjoy your music.
    • They can hear you introduce the songs and hear song commentary.
    • As part of their music purchase, you can provide scrolling lyric karaoke, a 10 track stem player where they can solo and mute tracks and save their new version of your song to their playlist. 
    • They can enjoy your exclusive music content inside your Artist Premiere. 
    • They can buy everything they want in one checkout - digital and physical merch. Rhythmic Rebellion is their cloud storage for all their digital purchases. We provide technical support for artists and their fans, and make sure everything is working perfectly. We give your fans a great shopping experience while you give your fans a great entertainment experience.

Here's The Plan:

Note: You will need to send your album/songs to Spotify at least 30 days before the release date if you want to apply to be on a Spotify playlist. The chances of being selected are relatively low but it is a must for any music release. Check the Spotify rules to make sure you are considered.

  1. Release dates: You will have two release dates. One date when the music becomes available for listening on your website. A second date when your music becomes available for listening on streaming services. 
  2. Pre-orders: Make your album available for pre-orders on your RR website at least 30 days before the website only release date. You can have the album (or songs) and merch available for pre-order. Jason Aldean had his album and merch available for pre-order four months before the release date, while his songs were still being mastered and his artwork was not finished. This allows you to test merch ideas. You can create them as on-demand printing on Printful. Our system does not send the orders to Printful until the release date comes.
  3. Release a song or two early: Remember the FM radio days? Artists would release a song on radio to promote the release of a new album. You can do the same thing using streaming. Just submit one song to streaming and do it at least 30 days before release, and apply to be on a playlist. You have the option to make that song(s) available on your website as part of your album. Inside the SRT (Song Recording Title) in your Artist Account, just give that song an earlier release date than the other songs. Read this article to understand artist financial success on Spotify
    1. Planning with DSPs: Most artists will use a distribution service like CDBaby, TuneCore, and so on. Once you submit your music to them, they will need at least two weeks to process everything and send it to the streamers (check with your DSP for an exact timeline). Spotify says they must receive your song at least two weeks before the release date (check with Spotify for updates on this) if you want to apply to be on a playlist. This means for Spotify playlists, you need to submit your music to your DSP at least 45 days ahead of time. You can send just one song to your DSP for release, and it will later be part of the album. Check with your DSP on the rules around this.
  4. During the pre-order time, promote it on your socials to drive fans to your website. Tell them that on the album release date they will get to hear all the songs and they can download the RR app for convenience. Explain that the album will not be released to streaming services until later. The only place to hear the album early is to preview and buy it on your website.
  5. The Website Only Release Date Arrives: At the date and time you selected in your SRT and Album on RR, the album and songs are instantly made available to your fans for listening, in the browser and the apps. This is only for fans that purchased it. Merch orders are sent to Printful. If you had Printful warehouse CDs or vinyl, they will be shipped also. 
    1. Make sure to build up the release on social media! Your new album was just released on your website ONLY. Remember, it's your artistry that you put so much work into creating and releasing, and that is worth A LOT! Fans that have not yet purchased can now hear the song previews, 45 sec, 90 sec, or full song (depending how you set it up in your account - you find these settings in the SRT). They can also hear you introduce the songs and your song commentary. These features really help album sales.
  6. Billboard/SoundScan Reporting: We report your sales to Billboard. Pre-orders are reported based on "shipped date". So it's best to release your album on a Friday, like 12:01 AM US EST (this setting is in your SRT). All pre-orders are counted as being sold on that Friday, and all sales made from Friday through the following Thursday are reported the following Friday. So that is a full week of sales plus all your pre-orders being reported at the end of that first week. This is how artists hit the top 40. Some weeks you can hit the top 40 with as little as 2000 sales. There are lots of rules regarding how music is reported. Learn more here: SoundScan Rules For Music Sales Reporting.
  7. Release to Streaming: Your release date to streaming services arrives. You can now promote that. You will find that people who bought your album will still go add it to their favorite streaming service because it's convenient, so selling your album ahead of time will have little to no effect on your streaming numbers. 

The following info will help you sell more music:

    • Inside the SRT form you can set your song for sale with 45 seconds, 90 seconds or 1 to 10 full song preview options. Guests hear a 45 second preview of the song and once they sign up they can hear the full song previews although we suggest three full song previews. Once they hear it three times it will switch back to a 45 second preview, which will encourage them to buy it. We suggest selling each song for $1.99 to help cover transactions fees. If they'll gladly pay you $.99, then $1.99 isn't a big stretch. We recommend offering albums for at least $9.99.
      • Keep in mind that when your fans buys your song(s), they get to hear it instantly in the music player at the top of your website. They also have the option to download a WAV or Mp3 of the song. If you include the karaoke track, they get instant access to that in the music player and can download a WAV or Mp3 of that track.
    • Make sure you create audio intros and commentary for your songs. This helps fans that don't know you learn about you and your personality, and it will make fans want to join your mailing list and even buy your music!
    • Karaoke-kRRk: Make sure to create scrolling lyrics for each song. You can also attach a track with no lead vocals (karaoke track) and include that with the sale of a song. See this option inside the karaoke creator form. 
    • Fan Song Mixer-MxRR: This feature allows access to a mixer where fans can solo, mute, or change the volumes on individual stems of your tracks. Fans love soloing just the vocal, creating an acoustic version by adding a guitar or piano, or pumping the bass! You can use a gift code to give away access to one mixer, but keep in mind fans will gladly pay for access to this fun feature. Upload up to 10 stems on a track, such as drums, bass, guitars, vocals and so on. 
    • Artist Premiere: The Premiere features consists of hidden pages that your fans can pay to access. They'll find exclusive, never before seen content there that will make them come back to your website again and again. Use this feature to offer access to special versions of a song, an early release of the music video, show them behind the scenes recordings, b-roll footage, or anything your fans will be entertained by and can cause them to connect with you. Anything you want your fans to see (with the exception of obscene or inappropriate material) can be posted there, including music, videos, and photos. You can even give it away or discount it using generated or custom gift codes. And the best part... you can create as many Artist Premieres as you want! Release one today and start working on your content for the next one and release it in a few months. We recommend charging around $5 for Artist Penthouse access. 
    • Sell Merch: We strongly advise creating merch that has song/album titles or images on it, or just a new t-shirt with your new image on it. Using Printful.com you can create all your ideas and pay nothing upfront, which is a game-changer. They will on-demand print your items and ship them once they sell, and charge your Printful Wallet or debit/credit card when the sale occurs. Even better, the Printful merch effortlessly syncs to your merch store built on RR and your fans can buy digital and physical items in one checkout. Our software then sends Printful the order information. See our Printful article for more info.
      • Merch ideas: Fans obviously love to interact with the world of their favorite artists, and gladly buy and collect photo albums, posters, signed photos, zoom meet and greets, happy birthday videos, a zoom acoustic concert from your living room, etc... so get creative with your merch and it will only make your fans happy and sustain you as an artist so you can continue creating!
    • Bundles: Bundles are a great way to sell a group of items at a discounted price. Keep in mind that Billboard/SoundScan has rules in regards to reporting sales for Billboard charts. You can report the sale of a song with karaoke. You can report the sale of a song with a song mixer as long as it is four stems/tracks or less. (We are trying to get this changed to 10.) You cannot report the sale of a song with the Artist Premiere. 
    • Gift Codes: You can give away or discount anything on your website using a Gift Code. Fans love FREE STUFF. This is a great way to get fans to go to your website, check out what you have going on and join your mailing list. Perhaps give away a song for free, bundle a few with some other (physical and/or digital) items for a discount and offer the rest for sale individually.
    • Song and Video Comments: Encourage your fans to comment on your songs and videos on your website (they must create an account to do so), and remember you can comment back! This encourages fan interaction, and allows you to keep them up-to-date with future news and announcements when they share their email in the sign-up process. When your song is playing in the music player, click COMMENTS to see the form.
    • Things to keep in mind:  
      • Your fans can play and buy your music in the Album feature placed on your website or from your merch store:
        • You should also add your new songs to your autoload playlist so that they autoload for guests when they visit your website for the first time.
        • Every song has its own page. Click Open Song Info to access it. The Share link also shares this page. Use this link to promote one song at a time.
        • If your song is for sale only, when you share the link to socials tell your fans: "Sign up to hear the song in full a couple of times. Otherwise you will only hear 45 seconds."

There are even more great marketing ideas in our Knowledge Base: https://support.rhythmic-rebellion.com/category/220-marketing

If you need help click the purple question mark at the bottom right of your account. Or email us at support@rhythmic-rebellion.com.


Billboard: What Equals an Album Sale?

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units, compiled by Luminate. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. 


Video

YouTube continues to be the number one place where fans discover new music. Music videos, live versions or even lyric videos to release on YouTube have become increasingly vital for music artists. 
Here are some places to find people to help you edit your video:
https://www.upwork.com/freelance-jobs/music-video/
https://www.fiverr.com/gigs/music-video-editing


Streaming Platforms

You will want to use one of the music distribution platforms like:
https://cdbaby.com/
https://www.tunecore.com/
Here is Ari's Take on it: https://aristake.com/digital-distribution-comparison

Spotify
Spotify if the biggest music streamer on the planet. You may not like them for paying low royalties but for the moment, your music should be there.
Apply to be on a Spotify Playlist
From Spotify: Use Spotify for Artists to pitch an upcoming, unreleased song to our playlist editors. We'll also add your pitched song to your followers' Release Radar playlists.
This is a must. It's difficult to be selected but many artists do and it greatly boosts their plays and exposure.
They MUST get your song at least two weeks before the release date but four weeks is better.
Learn more here: 
https://artists.spotify.com/help/article/pitching-music-to-playlist-editors