Releasing Your Track from A – Z in 3 Steps

Electronic Dance Money Episode 060 - Releasing Your Track from A - Z in 3 Steps

The other day I saw someone post in the Facebook EDM Bedroom Producers group asking about what the process of releasing a track from A – Z is.

This got me thinking about how we haven’t really discussed the entire process.

So that spawned the idea of taking you through what that process looks like from the minute you finish your track, to deciding how you want to release it, and the steps you need to take based on that decision.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Decisions you need to make before releasing your track
  • The difference between self-releasing and releasing through a label
  • The basics of a promo plan
  • What your marketing budget should look like

and much more!

Episode Links


Electronic Dance Money Episode #042 – The World of Sales Funnels, Lead Magnets and Selling Your Music with Wyatt Christensen – https://enviousaudio.com/episode42

Electronic Dance Money Episode #060 – Why Marketing Matters with Wyatt Christensen – https://enviousaudio.com/episode60

Distrokid – https://distrokid.com

Amuse.io – https://amuse.io

CDbaby – https://cdbaby.com

Behind The Daw Episode 86 – Marketing Funnels for Producers – https://open.spotify.com/episode/3EjL1Undj7XatXabeOPtNH?si=432fabec43b14325

Electronic Dance Money Booklist – https://enviousaudio.com/booklist

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

Hey guys, welcome to electronic dance money, your number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers.

What’s up everyone? Welcome back to a brand new episode of electronic dance money. I’m your host, Cristian conceito. Hope you guys are doing well. Today, we’re gonna be hanging out talking about releasing your tracks. And I think we’ve seen in the past, we’ve talked about the promo stuff with the track. And I think that’s mostly what we’ve gotten into in terms of releasing. But today, I wanted to go back and kind of review some of the things that we’ve talked about. And I want to talk about the actual releasing of a track from like, from point A to point B, there was someone in the EDM bedroom producers group who had posted about this about, you know, asking,

what’s the process from releasing your track from A to Z. And so that gave me a good idea of talking about and discussing the process of releasing a track from A to Z, because, like I said, we’ve talked about what you need to do when you’re promoting a tracks and tips and tricks. And even in the last episode with Wyatt, we talked about, we talked more about sales funnels, and how important that is to marketing your music and how important marketing is in general with your business and your music. But we haven’t talked about what does it look like from releasing your track from A to Z? And what are the things that you need to have in place before you start releasing tracks. And we’ll also talk about some decisions you may need to make in terms of self releasing or releasing a record label and what that looks like and what decisions you need to make with with going either one of those routes, and we’ve discussed a little bit about that. But we’ll do another recap of it here. Just in case you forget or if there’s new listeners. So let’s jump right into it. And there’s about three.

So let’s get into it, there’s about three steps that we’re going to be looking at in terms of

releasing your tracking in step one is really going to be prepping the track for release. So what does that mean? Well, obviously, you need to make sure that the track is finished, you need to finish track to release it, right. But what do you need, when you’re actually finishing up the production? Well, you need to make sure that it’s it’s mixed properly. And it’s mastered properly. And what I mean by this is,

there are depending on the route you want to go, and we’re going to be talking about this in step two, which is deciding the route of your release. And I’m going to mention this here, just because it is part of this prepping for the track. But you should already be considering the route you want to go. Do you want to self release just on Soundcloud? Do you want to self release to all distribution platforms? Or do you want to go with a label. Now if you want to go with the later, if you want to go with the latter, releasing with a label, then you need to make sure that the track is properly mixed and released with the label that you want to sign to labels have distinct ways of mixing tracks in the field of tracks. It’s the same way that like there’s certain styles for certain labels in terms of production and genre. Those tracks released usually have a specific mastering and even mixing style. And that’s why a lot of times record labels have specific engineers who work with that label because they’re going for a specific style. And a lot of the times it’s the you know, a big producer that that owns the label that’s doing a lot of the mixing or possibly even mastering because they’re going for a certain style, which is usually around their original sound. So if you are wanting to go that label route, and you’re looking at labels, make sure you’re referencing your mix and your master with this similar similar genres and produce tracks that have already been released on that label. That’s just step one of releasing your track. Got to prep it got to get ready for release. And once it’s ready, now we have to decide the route we want to go with self releasing.

So there’s a number of self releasing distribution platforms you can go to. And if you don’t know much about distribution, it’s pretty simple. You go with a platform, you essentially release it through that platform and they distributed out to all of the different media platforms like Spotify Apple Music beatport CD Baby band camp, pretty

much anywhere that has music you can stream or buy, it gets released to. Now the thing you need to remember is that different distribution platforms distribute to different streaming platforms and media platforms, you need to make sure you look at the fine detail in terms of where do they distribute your music, and are they distributing to the place that places that you want them to distribute to. For instance, with distro kid, they do distribute to beatport, but I think it’s hidden or you have to email them and ask them to add it to beatport. So you need to literally look through the fine detail print of where they distribute and do some research because last thing you want to do is assume that it’s going to be released on a certain platform, you distribute it to through a specific distributor and it’s not being added to the platform you want. distro kid also allows you to add your song to tick tock that not a lot of other distributors allow you to do that. But they will actually add your song as a sound on Tick Tock for you, which is extremely valuable. We’ve talked about Tick Tock in the past and how much power it has for musicians. There’s also distribution platforms like CD Baby is one. And I don’t know I am pretty sure distro kid charges about $20 a year for their smaller pretty much independent artists. Now the thing about distro kid is you have to, and this is why I don’t like you have to keep paying them in order to keep your music on the different platforms to keep your music up and live. If you stop paying, they’ll remove your music and remove your account. So that’s one thing to keep in mind. One distribution platform that I’ve always suggested to a lot of my past clients who want to self release is a muse.io. It’s completely free, you keep all the royalties, they do have a limit to their distributors, but I think they have expanded in the past. I don’t think they distribute to beatport, though. And B ports a very important one that everyone should be distributing on because there’s a lot of DJs that go to beatport to look for new music for radio shows or playing out or whatever it is. And beatport is even more important for independent artists who are releasing because you have to actually pay for the track. So what does this mean? Well, if you release on something like a muse.io, and you have a marketing budget, and we’re going to be talking about that in just a minute, and you’re actually marketing your music, you’ve got a sales funnel created. If you don’t know what that is, go check out the previous episode with Wyatt Christiansen where we talked about marketing your music and creating a sales funnel. But if you have a sales funnel setup, you are investing money into your release, you’re going to start running ads, and maybe you’re going to pay for some other stuff, well, I’m sure you would like a return on that investment, you’re probably not going to get a return on that investment with something like Spotify, they pay fractions of a penny or a stream. And so you need to get a lot of streams before you see a decent return on your investment. probably close to something something like maybe

50,000 to 100,000 streams, maybe a little less than that, you know, you could cut that in half, maybe 25 to 50,000, before you actually see a decent return on your investment. Whereas with beatport a lot of the tracks I think the average price for a track on there is like $1.50, maybe $2. So if you can get a bunch of your friends to support your support you, your family to support you, if you do have a dedicated fan base and you have these super fans, then getting them to actually go buy your track on beatport is going to be way more valuable to you. Because you’re actually going to get more dollars back you will get more money back from that. And additionally, that allows you to go higher up in the charts on beatport. And this brings a lot of social credibility to you for putting it in your APK putting it on social media and additionally, other DJs and producers will see your track they’ll check it out. They’ll play it in potentially buy it and play it on radio shows. So there’s if you’re releasing independently as an EDM producer, B portion 100% be your main focus in my opinion, and strictly from a return on investment standpoint, if that’s what you’re looking for, if you’re looking for return on your investment, and you’re actually looking to make dollars releasing your music, the port is going to be the best way to go. Spotify if you’re just looking for clout and trying to get playlist playlisted then, you know, Spotify is a decent route to go focus there. Again, this is just for self releasing. So let’s dive into self releasing and what is involved with self releasing

So that you can make the right educated decision on whether or not you want to go with a label or self release. So what’s involved with self releasing? Well, you need to make sure you put an entire promo plan together, this is going to involve your sales funnel stuff. So you need to have some, some lead magnets, you need to be creating possibly some email marketing, running some ad campaigns. And what’s involved with that is actually having a marketing budget, you need to get cover art done, you need to make sure that you’re actually posting on social media part of your promo plan. So putting all the content together for pre release, and post release. Now Additionally, you need to create some systems for analyzing all of the data that comes back from this release, so that you can adjust whatever your sales funnel is, or your marketing, or whatever, whatever it is that you did, you need to be able to track data, make changes that you need to so that your next self released track, you can analyze everything and try to get more plays, more streams, more purchases, get more people in your sales funnel, and moving down the sales funnel. So we need to be tracking all of this information. That’s the big involvement with self release that I think a lot of people don’t realize, because what you see day in and day out, and I’ve said this so many times on the podcast, amateur producers who self distribute, and then they post their track on social media for a couple of days, just you know, an Instagram link and a Facebook link, maybe they post in some groups, and then they go sweet, my promo is done. Why don’t I have 100,000 streams on Spotify? Why am I not playlisted? Well, it’s because you did next to nothing. I mean, your your your pre release promo was probably shit, your post release, promos probably shed a and so you’re going to get shit out of that you have to actually come from this at a from a business perspective, okay, you need to actually market these things the right way you you have a product, your product is your track, you need to sell that track. So you have to put a plan together and act on that plan. If you don’t do that, and you just expect that posting on social media is going to get you in front of the people that you need to get in front of so that you can start playing the shows you want to play or collaborating with the producers that you want to collaborate, that’s just not going to happen, it’s not going to work out that way. And so this is where a label comes into play. So if you don’t want to do all that work, if you just want to self release,

just as self release Bs, it’s hard to get signed to a label, but you don’t want to put in the work, that’s probably not the right route for you. A label is supposed to do all of the things that we just previously said, it’s the reason why they take a high percentage of your track because they need to make a return on their investment. If they’re putting marketing dollars into this stuff. If they’re creating content for you, if they’re posting on their social medias, if they’re getting you playlists, if they’re doing all these things, they should be the one paying for this sort of stuff. And so this is where I get into

this is where I have some issues with with some labels.

And, and the way that I know some labels work, because think about it.

And this is really just coming from a logical perspective. If we’re looking at how running a business works, specifically with a record label, what are you paying for? If they’re taking 70% of your royalties? What are you paying for? You’re paying for that, right? You’re losing money for that, for signing with this label? What is the label doing? What’s their job?

It’s to promote your track, they have an audience that you don’t have, and they have connections that can get your song in front of the right audience to sell and make streams and do whatever they need to do. So what are you paying for when you’re giving up something like 50% Plus, with royalties, and the labels hardly promoting your track.

They have no promo plan, they have no sales funnel, they hardly have a marketing budget. They may do a pre release post five days before your track and then do it the day of the track. And that’s it. So what the hell are you giving up 70% royalties for

this is the issue that I see with a lot of labels in the industry. That kind of frankly, sucks. And you know, there are some labels that also if you want to, if you want them to promote your track or get promotion on your track, you actually have to pay for it. So not only do you have to give up 50% plus on royalties, but now

You also have to take more money out of your pocket so that you can have a successful release. Now, if that doesn’t seem like a scam, then I don’t know what the hell is because that’s just to me, that’s mind boggling. Especially for a label that is going, Okay, we want to release this track. We think it’s good. But we don’t think it’s good enough to promote ourselves, you’re going to have to pay for the promotion. That is fucking bananas. I mean, that’s I blows my mind. It makes no fucking sense. It’s a shitty business, practice it bucks over artists. And it like I put it on par with the promoter that doesn’t want to pay an artist and they say, you’ll get exposure, we’re paying you an exposure. It’s like, it’s almost that level of incompetence. That’s just mind boggling. And some labels will say, Oh, well, we don’t have the budget. We don’t do we can’t Well, it’s like, well, why did you start a business then? Because you you own a record label, you started a business, if you don’t have capital to backup your business or try to make it successful, then what the fuck are you doing? You’re just trying to get other people to pay for resources for you, so that you can be successful. It.

That’s my TED talk today. That’s my little rant on record labels. So if record labels aren’t doing all of what I just said, that’s an issue. Now, that being said, there may be a label that you really want to release with that has this sort of perspective of like, their, you know that they don’t have a promo plan, you know, that they’re not going to, they’re not going to have a sales funnel, or they’re not going to promote your track the way you want them to promote, but you want to release with them really bad. Or maybe you don’t have an option. And it’s like, Okay, well, I have to go with this label, or you don’t have to, but I want to go with this label, because no one else will take the track. And they do have an audience, which can potentially help me and maybe they have some decent playlists that they say will put you on the playlist for maybe that’s the fact that’s the case. But they don’t have a marketing plan together. Well, they it’s best practice to put a promo plan together, create a sales funnel, get a budget together and do that promotion yourself. Try not to rely on others for your success, you have to rely on yourself, because so many people in this industry are unreliable, there are a lot of people that are just not reliable, you cannot rely on others 100% of the time. That’s one of the best pieces of advice that I think I can give you in terms of what this industry is like. And this is all really good practice for you too, in terms of like, What does creating a sales funnel look like? What is marketing look like? The like, these are all very valuable life skills, especially if you’re wanting to run a business, like being a music producer, being full time as a producer, or a full time DJ, you need to know these skills. So if you want to go the label route, you need to find a suitable label that can do the things that we talked about previously. In terms of promo planning, and ask them if, if you don’t know what their promotion is like, one you can look at past releases, but also ask them say, hey, do you guys have a promo plan? Was this look like? Do you send the track out to a promo list? Do you get it? playlisted? How long? Do you promote the track for when do you start promoting the track? are you creating content for the track? Like ask these questions, ask questions and find out what the process looks like. If they want you know, a lot of the times you it’s a struggle to ask these things if you don’t have a track ready that they want to sign. But if the if you have a track ready, and you send it to them and they want to sign it,

then start asking questions, find out if they’re a good fit for you. Because if they’re not a good fit for you, then it’s important to say you know what i i want to go a different route because I don’t think that I’m going to get much out of this release of it. You know, be nice about it. You don’t want to get blacklisted, but that’s probably the best route to go. Okay, so let’s recap. We’ve prepped our track, we got proper mixing and mastering done for the label specifically that we want to go to, or just the style we want to hit or self releasing. Now we’re deciding what do we want to do? Do we want to self release? This is step two, are we going to self release? Are we going to go with the label? Does a label have a good marketing budget? Do they have a decent promo plan? Do they do they have all the processes that we need to have a successful release? And do they want to sign the track suite? Then let’s go ahead and go with that. Or do you want to self release and do the work that a label should be doing? You know, making sure you put a sales funnel together. Make sure you have a marketing budget, make sure you have a promo plan. Again, we’re kind of taking responsibility into our own hands and the success of the release is within our own hands. I don’t think that’s a bad idea. If you have the time and effort and money to put into that

Listen, with a marketing budget, you don’t need a lot of money. $500 probably is a decent marketing budget, that’s decent, that would get you get you a lot of good results, I’d say minimum probably 150 to make sure you can. And that’s not including like artwork costs. Or if you get a lyric video, or if you shoot content with some other people, that’s not including those costs marketing budget specifically for like ad release stuff. If you need to, you know, build a website, get subscription services for like email marketing, there’s certain things you may need to do. 150 minimum is probably a decent budget that can get you started. But if you have $500, perfect, that is a good marketing budget, they can get real data from now, we’ve decided what route we’re gonna go. And now we need to come up with a promo plan. And yes, even if you’re releasing with label, you should come up with a promo plan. Now the promo plan doesn’t necessarily

include like the sales, funnel creation, the marketing budget, because if you’re going with a label, and they’re doing all those things that we talked about,

you should still have your own promo plan to

get going again, do not rely on the others for your success. The label may have a promo plan set up, and they may post X number of times over two or three weeks. But maybe it’s not the best promo point maybe they don’t review their analytics and they refine their promo, like maybe they just do the same thing every single time. And they may have some successful releases. But how much of that was that release was caused by the artist and the people that the artist knows. And if the artist puts a good promo plan together, we want to come up with our own promo plan so that we can promote our own track too. And you’ll need to give it the label for this to find out when you can start promoting pre release. And then pretty much the post release is completely up to you in terms of how long do you want promote the track, the label has no control over that. But they do have control over when you can start talking about the track. And when you can start promoting it find out too because I find a lot of people who start promoting the track like literally a day before it’s released. And that’s just not enough time, you need at least seven days to start getting the ball rolling and releasing content. Because when it comes to social media, not everyone is going to see your content at the same time. Or at all. If you if you make a post at 6pm at night, people who are active at eight in the morning probably aren’t going to see it or potentially even later on in the day, the you know, if they’re active around 5pm, an hour before you made the post or around noon, they’re probably not going to see your release the next day. Good chance they aren’t. So like you need to have a content schedule where you’re at least posting at different times. And you don’t need to necessarily post twice a day cuz that can get spammy. And people will get annoyed by that. But you can test you want this is stuff you want to test out. We’re talking pre release, make a post Monday morning at 10am. How well does the track do make a post the next day Tuesday at 6pm? How well how well did that one do. And a lot of this will be like you know you need to make sure you have and this is with both the label or if you’re self releasing have a pre save link for like Spotify or something. And I think beatport now has pre releases that people can purchase. So have some sort of pre release thing that you can start tracking and looking at and promoting for people to take an action, we want them to take an action, it’s not enough for them to just see Oh, they have a track coming out in a few days. It we need them to take an action we need to give them something to do. So make sure you have a pre save link of some sort. and test out the time different times in different days of how active something is. So you know if you made a post at 10am on Monday, and the next day you make a post at Tuesday at 6pm. based off of how many link clicks you get, you know if we’re talking about Instagram, how many people went to your bio and clicked on your website link. And then how many people from there actually clicked on the track to pre save it.

And you can see how the sales funnel set up. So top of the sales funnels the actual post where they get notified, oh, this is happening. Then going to your clicking on your bio that’s going deeper down the sales funnel. And then then pre saving your pre purchasing is the end of the sales funnel. They’ve converted, right there’s our sales funnel right there. And this is all stuff you can track if you have actions

Today, take Instagram allows you to look at those analytics of who went to your who visited your profile from that post. And how many of those people clicked on your website link. And then on your back end analytics, you can track how many people clicked a link and pre saved the track, you can track all of the analytics here and you should be, you should be reviewing those and figuring out what needs to be fixed. If you didn’t get a lot of profile visits, then the post, the content itself needs to be corrected, how can you make a more enticing post, if they went to your profile, and maybe they clicked on your bio link, but they didn’t convert, then you need to fix that page that you’re sending them to, is this is your sales funnel, these are the analytics you need to be tracking. So with pre release, we need to make sure we have that content that we’re talking about with leading up to the release, then we need to start putting together a schedule for when we’re going to post and schedule that content out. What days, are you going to post content? Is it going to be? Are you going to post three times in that week? Are you gonna post five times are you gonna post every single day? And what times are you gonna post and once you have that content, schedule that content ahead of time. That way, you don’t have to worry or forget about posting or anything like that. Now next, are we gonna run ads, you need to figure that out. And this is all stuff you should be kind of writing down in either like a spreadsheet or a Google Doc in terms of like creating the promo plan, have an outline, create an outline of all these of these things? What’s your goal for the release? And then you can build your promo plan around that goal? What do you want them to do? Do you want them to purchase the track on beep? Or do you want to create a sales funnel to get more marketing, email marketing leads into you know, collect emails? What is it that you want to do more you release in the goal of it and then build your content around that build your posting schedule around that. And then you can build the ads that you’re going to be running around that if you’re going to be running ads, I do suggest doing it.

It’s you need to do a lot of research on it, though. Well, we’ll figure I have an idea of a guest I want to bring on to talk about running ads for music. And hopefully, I’ll be able to get him on here soon. Because he’s made, I think well over six figures a year if not more, from releasing independently. And a lot of the stuff he does is running ads and doing crowdfunding too. So

now, once you’ve figured out if you want to run ads, and you’ve done some research on what you need to do, you can start setting that stuff up for your pre release, and then eventually doing it for your post release stuff. Additionally, what you should think about, and put this in your promo plan for your pre release stuff is reaching out to blogs, or playlist curators. And if you don’t already know, curators and playlists or blog writers, you’re gonna have to find out the places that you would like that stuff to be added to. So you know, where where do you want to be? What website? Do you want to be written up?

What playlist Would you like to be added to, and you need to figure out how you can contact those people, and figure out what the cost of that stuff is. Because if you don’t already know someone, you’re more than likely going to need to pay to get onto these platforms, you have to pay for those blog rights, you have to pay for those Spotify playlists.

Usually, there’s money involved in these sorts of things if you don’t know someone already, and I believe submit hub has access to those people like you can there’s articles on submit hub that you can submit your track for. I’ve got another person I think I’m going to bring on the podcast to talk about submit hub. But

these are all things that need to be included in your pre release plan, written down as an outline what your goals are, and what like how you’re going to create content around that. And when in set due dates for all the stuff when does all the content need to be created? When are you going to schedule all the content? When are you going to start running ads? And how are you going to run them all this stuff should be outlined. So you have a very clear goal in mind. And you know what action steps you need to take for your release. This is how you build a successful release. Like across the board. If you want a successful release, this is the route you have to go. The people who just post on social media make one single post saying here’s here’s my new track I just released yesterday or today. And that’s all they make. And they wonder why they don’t get more plays or whatever. It’s because they’re not putting the plan together and putting action to that plan and making sure that they have a good release. They’re just they’re just not properly preparing for this sort of stuff. And once the track is released, we now have post release. So you do want content for that post release stuff and it can start to be spread a little

No more than the pre release stuff with pre release, we’re really trying to build traction for that initial release. Once the track is released, we can slow down a little bit. But usually like, you know, two to four weeks after you can push the track again, with something like a lyric video or a music video, something like that, if you if you have, if you can create that sort of content, you have the money for it, do it, because you can get a little extra push at the end of the release, which is usually four weeks out like that’s the tail end when you kind of want stop promoting it. And but you could also take that track and turn it into a sales funnel, a lead magnet, I should say. So you can start collecting emails, or there’s a number of things that you can do with it included with post release stuff is actually running ads now. So previously, you were probably in pre release, you know, if you’re doing the pre release promo, you’re more than likely running ads for people to pre save the track or pre purchase it. Post release, you’re promoting the track for people to actually go streaming or go purchase the track whatever it is that you want, want them to do. And then sending out promo emails with a promo list. So it’s a promo list, we’ve talked about this in the past, usually it’s a list of DJs or producers, big or small that you know have like a radio show or they’re touring, or you know that they’re playing shows you send your track out. And usually this is done pre release, so that they can kind of start promoting it already. So you can do this during pre release or post release. But you want to send that track out to a laundry list of producers and DJs and start accumulating this list adding names to this list. And I’ve, we’ve we talked about this, I believe in Episode 19. five tips to help you conquer track promotion. I’m pretty sure I talked about promo lists. So I’ll have that episode in the show notes for you guys to check out. But make sure you’re accumulating emails in a spreadsheet that you can send promos to. And hopefully they’ll get picked up. But that’s pretty much it in terms of releasing your track from A to Z again, let’s just review what we did. So we prep the track for mixing or mastering depending on the style of the label we’re going to release with or that we want to self release. And then we’re just deciding do we want to self release, or do we want release with the label, we need to do research on either of these topics, figure out how to create a sales funnel, I already have resources for them, which will be in the show notes, creating a promo plan. And we have to make sure that we’re tracking analytics for our entire release, if we’re going with self releasing, if a label already does all that stuff and you find one that you like, then even better, go ahead and sign with that label. Step three, we’re creating the promo plan. So we have the pre release plan, which is going to be creating content, scheduling the content, figuring out when you’re going to be posting, are you going to be running ads, are you creating a sales funnel for everything. And then you’re gonna try to reach out to either blogs or playlist if you want to go that route and have the money for it. And then we have our post release, which we’re going to be sending emails out to promo lists, that can again, be done in the pre release part. And then we’re additionally running more ads if we want to. And we have the marketing budget for it. And we can do you know, the last push of we’re creating earlier video or something. But from that we want to track this is where we’re going to be tracking all the analytics to that we talked about in the self releasing stage for step two, you know, make sure you track all the analytics for all the stuff you’re doing all the posts, like this is why we have a sales funnel so we can figure out where and what we need to track in terms of analytics. Again, if you want to learn more about sales funnel, the episodes that we hang out with Wyatt and talk about marketing will be in the show notes.

That’s it for today’s episode, guys. I hope you learned a lot about what it looks like releasing your track from A to Z head over to Envious audio.com slash Episode 60 to check out the show notes everything we talked about in this episode. Other than that, I’ll see you guys later. Have a wonderful day and take care

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