Here is a comprehensive music release checklist of all the things you should be across when releasing music.
Before you begin… remember that a music release is a huge task. It can often seem overwhelming and neverending. The best way to tackle something so long-winded is to break it down into sections. Focus on refining the creative parts first. Have all your music and assets ready to go. Organize your songwriting splits. Doing all of this in advance is going to save you a big headache down the track.
Once you have your music release creative assets organized, move on to the promotional aspects. How will you tell people about what you have created? Make a list of all the press people you want to reach out to. Craft a press release and start sending! Finally, start planning your marketing strategy. How will you expand your reach by strategically using social media?
We have broken it up for you so you can stay calm and organized throughout the process!
The Music for release
✔ Single/EP/Album artwork in 1:1, 4:5, 9:16, 16:9
✔ Mastered mp3. and wav. files of your music
✔ Who you will distribute through? Ditto? CD Baby?
✔ A clear breakdown of all of the songwriters’ and music contributors’ copyrights by percentage. (e.g. 50% to X and 50% to X)
✔ Written out lyrics
✔ A blurb about the meaning and theme of the song
✔ Vinyl artwork or merchandise artwork if needed
✔ The name of the people who contributed: Producer, mixing, mastering, videographer, photographer, etc.
✔ If you are releasing more than just a single, i.e an EP or album; decide which single/s you will release first and in what order
Publicity for release
✔ Completed press release
✔ High res press shots (at least one if not all should be in color)
✔ A list of press contacts with their emails, titles, and names you will reach out to
✔ A list of radio contacts with their emails, titles, and names you will reach out to
✔ Clear pitch for Spotify Editorial playlists
✔ A list of publisher contacts with their emails, titles, and name you will reach out to
✔ Music video link
Marketing for release
✔ Social Media Strategies or tactics you will employ
✔ Ads budget
✔ Campaign Timeline
✔ Clear goals for the campaign – be specific. (How many followers? Streams? Conversions?)
✔ Clear method of tracking and measuring metrics
✔ Assets for organic and for paid strategy (Likely to include 1:1, 4:5. 9:16, 16:9, spotify canvas, music video etc.)
✔ Content Calendar
✔ Comms Plan
✔ Overall story you are trying to convey
What’s the next step? Planning a live show to launch your music! Read How to book a live performance as an independent musician and then head to our live performance checklist for every musician to make sure you have covered all bases!