Hi, I’m glad you’re here because I have the data to answer the question of how often should I release a song?. Since the same subject was troubling me a while ago, I decided to conduct extensive research and gather information that I’m positive you will find very interesting.
Singles: You should release between 3 and 6 singles per year.
Albums: You should release 1 album per year.
Most Artists release 1 album per year with an average of 17 songs per album -including the singles. There is, however, an emerging trend that dictates the release of two albums per year.
Lets now dive into the specifics. I researched three major artists and their release schedule, for your convenience I have created three tables that show the frequency release spectrum divided by year.
This Is How Often Arianna Grande, Post Malone, and Katy Perry Released Songs in 2017-18-19
To acquire the data, I investigated the release frequency of three major artists: Arianna Grande, Post Malone, and Katy Perry, then I divided it by year.
This Is How Often 3 Major Artist Released a Single in 2017
This Is How Often 3 Major Artist Released a Single in 2018
This Is How Often 3 Major Artist Released a Single in 2019
As the data shows:
- In 2017 Arianna Grande released 3 singles and 0 albums.
- In 2017 Post Malone also released 3 singles and 0 albums.
- In 2017 Katy Perry released 4 singles and 1 album.
- In 2018 Arianna Grande released 4 singles and 1 album.
- In 2018 Post Malone released 5 singles and 1 album.
- And Katy Perry released just 2 singles in and 0 albums the year 2018.
- In 2019 Arianna worked harder releasing 6 singles and 1 album.
- In 2019 Post Malone released 3 singles and 1 album.
- In 2019 Katy Perry released 4 singles but 0 albums.
It’s worth noting that each album has 17 or 18 songs
Releasing Singles vs Dropping an Album at Once
Before streaming services toke charge, if you wanted to enjoy just one song, you had no choice than buying the whole album. Of course, today, this has changed. At any given moment, you have the option to stream through free or paid platforms any song you like.
A proper release strategy that is based on singles will keep your fans engaged throughout a more extended period compared to releasing an album at once.
Also, with releasing one single at the time, you have a bigger chance of making it into the charts. For example, 5 singles spread throughout a year is more valuable than the same songs released as an album unit.
There is, however, a pitfall you MUST avoid when releasing singles and it has to do with the releasing timeframe. But more in that later.
Also, the more singles you release, the bigger chance you have to get featured in playlists created by streaming services such as YouTube, Tidal, or Spotify.
PRO TIP: Since in most streaming playlists, you will see only one single per artist, releasing more than one song will make them compete with each other. And trust me there is enough competition out there; you don’t want to also compete with yourself.
But What Happens with Albums; Should I Release Them or Not?
Yes, you still should release albums. But if you are a new artist and don’t have the budget or the necessary songs under your belt yet, stick with the “singles release strategy” at least for the first year.
As we saw at the beginning of this article, not all artists release an album each year.
However, if a record has let’s say 15 tracks, the artist will choose a few of them to be released to hype up the expectations of their fans. Regardless of the genre, this is an excellent strategy that a lot of bands and artists use.
Remember that successful artists have access to a big network and incorporate successful music marketing strategies. Just putting your songs online and posting on social isn’t enough anymore; Everybody is doing this. What you need is a way to stand out and maximize your efforts without breaking the bank!
Because I got tired of seeing frustrated artists with awesome music but without sufficient income; Only because they didn’t know the right marketing tactics.
I decided to create: The Profitable music marketing & networking guide. In there, I teach you how to make money from your music through effective networking and marketing strategies specially crafted for music professionals!
The guide is currently in the making if you want to enter my VIP list and be among the first to receive updates about The Profitable music marketing & networking guide enter your information in the above form and take the first step towards YOUR profitable music career!
How Releasing Too Much Music Can Hurt You
As an artist, you want to maximize the impact of each song you put out there and get the biggest ROI possible.
This means crafting great songs but also promoting them enough so that they reach the maximum amount of fans possible in the shortest amount of time.
If we decide to follow a once-a-month release strategy right away, we stumble across the problem of insufficient maximization due to lack of time.
You see, releasing a single every month leaves a very small window to build hype and promote your songs.
Two to four weeks means you’ll barely started promoting a track when its already time focus on the next one. This is especially true for DIY artist that yet don’t own enough funds and resources to help them with the process.
A Better Strategy for Releasing Music Paired with Marketing Tactics
A great route you can follow is actually creating a full album instead of singles. This may seem contradictory with the advice I’ve given you above (not releasing full albums at once), but it’s not if you treat the album as a big collection of singles!
From a marketing perspective, you ideally want to release music often; so that your fans stay engaged but not too often because then you won’t be maximizing the impact each song can have.
With an album, you have something new to announce and promote to your fans almost every week. This can be:
- A new song
- A behind the scenes look
- Upcoming shows
- Music videos
- Artist collaborations, and of course
- The official album release
If you follow this strategy by the end of the year, you’ll find your self with 3-5 singles plus an album under your belt, and all that with consistent fan engagement spread out over 12 months!
How About Releasing Two Albums per Year?
In 2015 Drake released two albums, a total of 28 songs, and in 2019, he released again two records this time with a total of 35 tracks.
Drake is just an example of a new era of artists that embrace the digital age differently. Its a fact that in today’s world, albums are not that important as they used to be; this is because they were a lot more expensive and challenging to produce. It took time to record, manufacture, distribute LP’s and CD’s, to print publications, film music videos and get press material out.
Today the music album has lost his status. It’s merely another product we can individually consume by tens per day thanks to streaming services.
My whole point is that we might be entering an era where one album per year and a couple of singles might not cut it anymore. If possible, artists need to offer more music to their fans while maintaining quality.
Examples of other artist that released two albums in one year are
2014: Art Official Age
2015: Hit n Run Phase One
2015: Hit n Run Phase Two
2016: The Return of East Atlanta Santa
2017: Mr. Davis, and El Gato
2017: The Human Glacier
How Often Do Artists Upload Music Videos?
Study shows that on average, an artist uploads a new music video every 52 days. With the rise of platforms like YouTube or Vimeo, music videos are more relevant than ever.
Today with a music video, you can reach a much wider audience than back in the MTV days. This is true also for DIY artists since, in the past years, we have seen unknown artists get famous in a matter of months, if not weeks.
Just have a look at the band “OK Go” with their song “Here It Goes Again,” which went viral in 2006 and is responsible for the band’s big success.
Another example of a music video that went viral this time by big-name artists is “Bad Blood” By Taylor shift. When Bad Blood was released in 2015 it gained 20.1 million views in just 24 hours! It broke the 24-Hour Vevo Record previously held by Nicki Minaj with the song “anaconda”.
This record has since been broken by “Hello” By Adelle, at the time of writing the video has been viewed over 2.5 billion times on YouTube alone!
Three Benefits the Artist Gains from Music Videos
1) Music videos help spread the artist’s music faster.
First of all, a music video is a form of content-marketing that goes beyond the music itself. It’s been speculated that until 2022, 90% of the content on the Internet will be video.
Since humans are visual creatures videos, find their way easier into the consumer’s brain, they are pleasant to watch, and they strengthen the artist’s image.
2) Music videos help the artist reach audiences that are not that interested in music.
This may surprise you, but there are a lot of people who don’t actively consume music regularly. Most of us lead busy lives with the opportunity of little free time. Therefore if music is not a big part of someone’s life, they are not going to devote that much time discovering new songs.
Music videos are an excellent way for an artist to get their songs out to an audience who doesn’t really care about new music.
3) Music videos strengthen the artist’s branding
Besides the music itself, the image and the branding of an artist are the most essential elements of a successful career.
A music video is part of the full experience artists create for their fans. Music, even more, combined with video, has the ability to evoke strong emotions and intrigue the audience. Use the right angle, colors, effects, and schene, and your music video will likely captivate whoever might consume it.
Example of Videoclips That Were Recorded with Just a Smartphone
If you want proof that the whole process of making albums is much cheaper today, consider the fact that you can get good enough quality for a music video through a smartphone! This can cut costs significantly. If you don’t believe me, just have a look at the following list with music videos that were filmed wit just an Android or Apple phone.
- Ellie Goulding – How Long Will I Love You
- Samuel Sanders ft Patrick Bass – Captured
- Trio Mandili – Come vorrei (Ricchi i Poveri cover)
- Christafari – Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) Official Music Video [Feat. Avion Blackman]
Compare this with only a few years back, and you immediately see the vast improvement in time, effort, and money.
I hope you enjoyed this guide as much as I did! If you like you can scroll down and browse our latest articles.