My Album Release Diary: The End Is The Beginning

Well, it’s about month since the album was released so let’s take a moment to reflect back over some of the main results and takeaway points of the first four weeks.


  • Three album tracks plays on National radio BBC Radio 6 Music (at a cost of just postage!) and two further plays on 6Music for a custom track we made just for the station’s breakfast show.


  • No 1 in iTunes Chart Subsection (Comedy)


Points of Note

  • Upfront sales (and sales through our webstore) were down for this album on previous releases.  There could be a variety of reasons for this though as we’ve seen overall music sales for all artists continue to decline. It would seem for us at least that the decision not to put the album on Spotify hasn’t had the desired effect.  If people aren’t buying, then maybe you DO have to have it on streaming to at least get some revenue that way?
  • Sales of this album at gigs are up on previous years.  Perhaps physical product should now perhaps be firmly considered solely ‘merchandise’?
  • Facebook advertising can be been for getting reach to your own fans and beyond.  It can however get ‘addictive’ and it doesn’t necessarily follow that it wll h with music sales.

So, some pluses and some minuses. One of the song topics on the album is about a small restaurant chain operated by a multinational PLC.  The marketing company for the chain have approached us to make a video to promote both the song and the restaurants.  This is in the future and might not happen (and we will need to change some lyrics) but this could still pay dividends.

In summary, the shift from sales to streaming means that ‘album release campaign’ strategies have to evolve, not just for independent artists but for the whole industry.  Marketing by artists and major labels has primarily been concentrated around an eight week window (with an album release slap bang in the middle of it).  However as straightforward album sales are in a sharp decline with a shift to streaming the promotional life cycle of an album can be as long as two years. We need to get people not just to engage with our music over a short lifespan (as we did with sales) but instead for as long as possible; the longer the marketing period, the greater the number of plays. Rather than a short, sharp splurge which results in a high chart placing, marketing has to evolve to accommodate long term exposure which in turn generates more streams and greater revenues. As we move forward, getting your music into people’s playlists (playlists being the new ‘ownership’ of music) will become an ever greater priority.  Playlists are where people discover new music and where people return to their ‘saved’ cloud library. This CMU article covers some of these concepts in a greater depth

For my next next album release I’ll finally adopt the marketing strategy of releasing several singles ahead of the album.  For a summer 2016 release, we’ll probably start with singles  starting in November.  Which means that work will start on this very, very shortly.  The circle begins again!

the blog will now return to it’s usual’tips’ format, if there is anything further to add, I’ll do an addendum.

Categories: Album Release, music marketing

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