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Have you ever heard the saying “how you say something is more important than what you say”?

That also goes for music. If you release a single, EP or an album can make a massive difference in how a track is received. Some tracks are clear-cut singles, while others need the context of an album or EP to really shine. What type of release you should put out also depends on where you are in your career if you’re an upcoming artist you might be better off getting some notches in your belt through singles before doing a bigger project. Let’s dig into the specifics of each release type.

 

 

Single Without a Music Video

Single non-video releases make up for the vast majority of releases done in the music industry. They’re cheap to do, focus on one track, digestible for playlists and SoundCloud. They usually receive a lot more plays than albums and EPs, Drake’s “One Dance” is still one of the most played songs ever on Spotify — and there was never an official music video for it.

Sadly, they fall short when it comes to blog impact, as essentially no blog has the time to bother with singles it becomes really hard to get reviews. If there’s no other material, it’s just another song on Spotify. In general, reaching out to the real niche audience through social media and youtube is essentially impossible.

You usually end up with a lot of streaming superfans if the song is good, but usually never get any true long-term growth apart from another notch on your belt.

Single With a Music Video

A single with a music video has essentially all the perks of a normal single, they focus on one track, they’re digestible for playlists and SoundCloud and in general work just as well on all audio-only platforms where singles rule the world. However, video-singles one-up their counterpart is when it comes to blog and social media support. Since they’re rarer and there’s more content for a blogger to cover, they’re more inclined to. Same goes for artist superfans, they’re much more likely to plug a video than a audio-only single.

Main problem? They’re usually very expensive to do. Good music videos are hard to do on a budget, so make sure you save your buck until you have the song and the position to get the most bang for it.

You usually end up with a lot of streaming superfans if the song is good,  but also the fanbase growth one would normally get from an Album (though not as much).

EP

With an EP, you’re sort of right in between an Album and a Single. To a degree, you have the song variety that an Album has — but it’s not as much of an investment of your time and resources. It has a decent amount of punch with blogs, as they’re much more likely to review an EP (especially if there’s an overarching concept for the songs) than they are with a single.

The problem with an EP is the same perk, you’re sort of right in between an Album and a Single. You lose out on the laser-sharp focus of a single and don’t really get the landmark for your career than an album is. This means that in a lot of cases, you end up with one song being the focus track of the project and the other tracks sort of quietly humming along like the last pick in baseball.

An honest recommendation, unless your goal is to keep the cat (or in this case, the artist superfans) fed for a while so you can take some time off; you’re better off releasing the tracks as singles.  If you just really want an EP, do something interesting with it. Like Vince Staple’s Prima Donna where he did a 10-minute music video with all the songs, or Ed Sheeran who made a live session EP, or SMNM who made an EP from his already famous SuicideSheep releases.

Album

Let’s be real, there’s no doubt that out of all the releases in this list Albums have the most clout. Usually accompanied with singles to hype it up, albums have been the metric in which one judges an artists productivity and experience. They’re without a doubt the most powerful way to build a fanbase, a perfect example being the following Post Malone built off just one album causing him to break a record in the slowest climb to the top 100 with non-single tracks on the album being on the US charts repeatedly.

Albums allow you to communicate your concepts and ideas on a whole new level and is usually enough to convert any stranger into an artist superfan. They’re a complete homerun for blogs, and in some cases can open the doors to other PR such as TV, Newspapers & YouTube features.

Albums are, without a doubt, the heaviest release an artist can put out, so it should come as no surprise that they require a ton of time and resources. In most cases for upcoming artists, they don’t do nearly as well as a single if you look at a track-by-track play count. It’s rare for anything but the singles to really get exposure.

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