We have a rule that we only set release dates 45 days after all production is finished for a digital release. In other words, when Artwork, Master(s), Press Photos and Meta Data has been received and approved by Rexius Records.
Our release schedule is based not only on our own activities as a label but also on the timing and decisions of at least four different services/platforms: Our distributor, streaming/digital stores, Spotify Editorials, curators/playlisters.
It would be awesome to release your song the day after all material is ready (nah, not really, you’ll see below), but this is not only up to us and not recommendable.
Here’s why: Our aggregator (Distrokid) have different lead times to distribute the material to all stores. They recommend 4 weeks if it is important to have it released in all stores at the same release date.
See their own schedule here. Then we prefer a margin of 2 weeks to correct any problems/errors in case Distrokid doesn’t accept the material we’ve submitted. This is because it takes ca 14 days for stores to adjust any corrections.
Note: Streaming platforms are really strict on spelling formats, details on audio/images, lyrics etc. So these corrections aren’t unusual, even after our careful quality control.
Other things could go wrong, for example a release could end up at the wrong artist profile, or our distributor might require photo ID in order to make sure you are you.
This is also the case if you need us to change anything after distributing. If we don’t have a margin of at least two weeks for corrections, there is no guarantee that your song/album will be released with the correct information on the release date. Worst case scenario: The date gets postponed because Distrokid didn’t accept the correction and we have to re-submit it.
Planning in advance makes our job less stressful and in turn, will give you a higher quality release.
We expect you as an artist to do a lot of promotion work yourself. By releasing within a week or two would give you fewer days to promote your release.
So this makes a month already. Why do we need 15 extra days?
We can only put together an EPK once the song is 100% approved and distributed on Distrokid. There’s no point in announcing a release on press material if it isn’t confirmed by the distributor.
We need at least two weeks before the release date to put together the EPK, send all release material to you, and do any corrections/adjustments based on your feedback.
We can only pitch to Spotify Editorials once they have received the song from the distributor and uploaded it according to their own schedule. This Editorial pitch needs to be done as early as possible in order to have a higher chance to reach their curators. Ideally, we pitch 4 – 3 weeks before the release date. And from our own experience, one week before the release date is too late.
Take the distribution deadline in mind
This is also important. You also need to consider our distribution deadline: 45 days before the release (excluding holidays and vacations). All material (sound, visuals, metadata) needs to be finished and approved by both you and our team before that day. You also need to have added us and given us access/permissions to all relevant accounts (such as Spotify for Artists)
This also means that both you/your crew and our team need to be available for communication during the delivery of the material: Producer, photographer, PR agency, art director, release manager, etc.
Even if technically speaking, we could distribute your track today and release it 7 days from now, the following would happen:
- You’d blow your chances to be featured on Spotify editorials. They won’t let us pitch to them on such short notice.
- For the same reason, we wouldn’t be able to pitch to influencers, playlists, blogs, etc.
- There is a big risk that your song won’t show up on streaming platforms on release day, or not on all of them.
- All of this results in less revenue from your project. That’s not what any of us want, right? 🙂