When the time comes to release a song, I used to stress over self-release or label release. I believe I’m nowadays a label mainly kind of artist, but when I self-released a song it was REALY fun…
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. The good thing about self-releasing is that you control all aspects of your release, but that means you will do all the work as well. The PRO is that you can create your own schedule and have full flexibility to create your marketing campaigns, which led some friends of mine to have consistent Spotify support, like Kepik, but you’ll be the one sending out promos to all blogs, djs and media outlets. It’s a ‘reach’ vs ‘control’ trade-off, but control can also make your reach better if you have a good strategy. As usual, it heavily depends on the music.
2. Release with labels if you see they could benefit you more than a self-release. Labels come, supposedly, with marketing efforts and this can enhance your reach by people listening more to you on DJ radio shows and media outlets or Spotify covering you. Some labels have more ‘leverage’ with Spotify than others, or have a strong community, like Monstercat and Anjunabeats, which can enhance the number of people listening to your music and following you. Be sure to understand what will you possibly gain by giving up at least 50% of your royalties and do your research on what labels offer what you want.
3. Make remixes, or even free downloads, to get more opportunities for people to discover you. Doing a remix of a famous song or a famous artist, official or not, can make more people listen to your music, which could lead to a higher number of followers. Even though it’s not ‘your original song’, it’s a way you can connect with people and build momentum for when you release your own music, people already follow and like the kind of music you make. (PS. beware of copyright issues before doing this).
4. If you don’t know how to find what labels would be ideal for your music, list 10 songs you really like and discover which labels these tracks are released on. If they are big labels, you can try finding smaller artists you like or have a similar vibe and understand how normally they release their tracks. If all artists in your industry self-release, for example, it could be a sign of the way you have to go.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
If many labels reject your song and you ‘choose by exclusion’ to self-release it, try to understand why so many labels rejected your song. Could it be the quality of the song? Would releasing help you artistically or is it a sign that you need to go back to the drawing board?
It simply could be that you reached labels that aren’t interested in that kind of song, but it could also be you have some more work to do before releasing