How to succeed in your first digital distribution?
After spending hours, weeks and even months working on new material. As an artist, it is essential to prepare this release for its first digital distribution. Nowadays, everyone has access to distribution services. Indeed, any artist can release an EP, an album or a single. To stand out from other artists and increase your chances of success, it is essential to prepare your release as well as possible.
Today, Wiseband gives you its best tips, point by point, to succeed in your first digital distribution.
Foreword: Defining your project
Before distributing your new project, it’s important that everything about you is moving in the same direction. Everything that defines your image must follow a well-oiled and coherent artistic line. This will allow you to present it better, in order to sell it better.
You will have understood, defining your project to increase your chances to own the famous platinum record so coveted is fundamental. Indeed, the greatest artists such as Daft Punk have elaborated a whole artistic guideline to stand out from the others and to keep their public loyal.
An interesting exercise to define your universe is to “pitch” your project yourself. How to present it simply, quickly and efficiently so that any listener, media, tour manager, label, editor, etc., can immerse themselves in your bubble. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What is my world?
- Why this project?
- What makes me different from other artists?
Another possible exercise: be able to define your project in 3 words and no more.
For example, for Raphaël Faget-Zaoui, the ex-singer of Thérapie Taxi, defined his band by these 3 words: Pop – Insolent – Duo. It’s up to you to find yours!
To summarize, before you even find a distributor, define your project from A to Z and then, and only then, start choosing your distribution partner. But for that, you also need to anticipate your releases.
1. Anticipate your release
Very often, because of lack of time and especially because of impatience, we forget the most basic thing: anticipation. When the artist reaches the end of the recording of his project, he has only one desire: to make it known and share it with everyone! And if possible, as soon as possible.
But the key to a good release is to prepare it well beforehand. There is no point in running, you have to start on time…
For example, for the cover of your project: should I make an identical cover for all the pieces? There has to be a common thread between your releases and everything has to be thought out beforehand.
But also, ask yourself these questions: When to upload my songs on the digital platform of my distributor? When to set a release date? What is the ideal length of time (in days/weeks) between two singles releases?
We will answer these questions as we go along.
With an unstrategized release, sure, you get downloads, hundreds of views and listens, but the problem is that the tracks fall into the web.
You are a meticulous person and you wish you knew the best day for your first release? Yes, nothing is left to chance and well, know that Friday is a good option. Don’t worry, we’ll explain it here.
When you release a song or an album, it’s the perfect time to gain credibility with the entire music industry and increase the number of subscribers. That’s why you need to leave some time before the release, for those who follow you to talk about it and let the information spread. Take your time, it will allow you to realize a whole work of reflection around your project and to define your objectives.
2. Think about your goals
An action plan can be a good solution to put in place all your objectives. It is primarily a tool for reflection, forcing you to ask yourself what you want to achieve, what your achievable goals are, and what you need to do to reach them.
Artists regularly release songs without really thinking about what’s next. This is where the action plan for your future comes into play. Before you release your piece, start by asking yourself what you want to achieve. So you don’t go off the deep end, what your goals really are and how you’re going to get there. For example, do you want to reach a different audience, or do you want to promote yourself for a label you care about?
Of course, in the world of music, there is always a degree of randomness. Even if you have the best of backward planning, you are not guaranteed to have the success of Gilbert Montagné. However, what is certain is that you drastically increase your chances of becoming the new star of the French scene.
Wiseband can advise you to be spotted by a label already present with your digital distributor, this will allow you to have a good foot on the ground in the music world and to increase your network in the branch that corresponds to you, notably by creating a press kit.
3. Prepare a press kit
It is strongly advised to prepare a press kit in advance. A press kit is a document intended to present to the media or professionals the music of the artist that you are, or that you represent.
It summarizes the artist, his universe and his accomplishments while capturing the reader’s attention. The press kit gathers everything about the artist:
- Articles from the written press
- Reviews (album or show)
- Latest performances
- TV or radio interviews etc.
It’s a kind of CV for artists and thus to sell yourself in the best way. Wiseband advises you to present your project, its universe, its difference, its added value, possibly your past career… To put it simply, all the elements that can make you stand out.
4. Spacing out your releases
Allow a month between the request for digital distribution and the day of release to enter the official channels. Putting your music online on the biggest digital distribution platforms is not done in a few seconds. Of course, your digital distributor will do his best to be as fast as possible. Depending on the platform, it takes 48 hours or less for Spotify or Deezer for example. While there will be a longer wait for Apple Music, Itunes, Napster and other platforms.
Random factors can also disrupt your release if you do not anticipate the release date of your project. Indeed, rare technical time constraints are possible to deliver to certain platforms.
An essential point about pitching. For all the artists who wish to integrate songs in official playlists with Wiseband. Please note that you need to allow at least one month to integrate the playlists. So if you want a pitch for a playlist placement, the delay will be at least one month. We say more here to have your own songs in official playlists with Wiseband.
Also, it is necessary to foresee a margin of error for possible last minute changes: changing the cover, updating the song, etc…
Finally, you need to space your releases well, to give your audience time to “pre-save” your release on their respective Spotify/Deeze/Apple Music accounts, thanks to the Pre-Save Wisepage!
Indeed, the pre-save campaign is the most underrated marketing method you can use to promote your next release. Not only does it allow you to start building hype before a release and use the weeks leading up to it more effectively, but it also has a huge impact on how the Spotify algorithm rates your track. While it doesn’t impact editorial playlists, it does boost your release’s algorithm in the “Liked Songs” collection for example.
5. Update all your elements
An artist must inform his public and regularly update all the elements concerning him. On each of your profiles and especially on Wiseband’s, always be up-to-date. For example, start by updating your profile picture or your bio.
Small Wiseband Tips:
- Avoid photos that are too heavy, that is, the visual should not be too busy. It’s better to have a clear background. Wiseband strongly advises against using a logo as a profile picture. Indeed, users are more inclined to click with a portrait picture of the artist. More info here.
- Don’t forget to put useful links on your profiles that will link to each other. For example, a Spotify link to redirect users to your Spotify playlists. So think well on spotify, create a playlist and put it on the artist’s. Want to know more about your Spotify account features? Spotify Artist is here to answer your questions, we talk about it in this article.
- Writing a fresh bio with no more than 1500 characters to put yourself forward is important. No more than that, because that’s the standard on Spotify. Also concerning the characteristics of your song, a 16bit WAV audio format and 24 bits for HD format is mandatory to be in the standards on all platforms. Prepare your cover well, respecting the right dimensions (3000×3000; RGB; JPG) is also a necessity.
Oh yes, and don’t forget to declare your songs to the SACEM. You should know that the requests made to the SACEM can take several weeks. Indeed, registering as an author-composer can take time, but it is necessary for the continuation of your career. Once again, anticipation is the key to success.
6. Spread out your releases
Plan to spread out all your releases. That is, it is more interesting for an artist to spread out his releases over time rather than to put everything together at once. With this technique, you can give your listeners time to digest your tracks and become addicted to your music like a good chocolate.
Second point, when you are starting out and you want to put your first release online, opt first for a first single and not an EP or an album. The first one should be a showcase of all your future releases and starting with an album is without any doubt, too ambitious a project for an artist who is starting out. For example, start by making yourself known by releasing singles.
7. Launch your first digital distribution
After much (much) effort, you are finally there. After a lot of hard work to prepare your release, you can finally head to your digital distributor for release on all music platforms.
You can now distribute your music with Wiseband.