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Release an album or EP?

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Release an album or EP?

Postby Kinh » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:09 pm

I've got 10 songs mastered, ready to go and I'm tossing up whether I should release 2 EPs or 1 album. This is my first ever release. So what do you think would be the better option to maximize sales? It's electronic music but they're all songs. I'm a producer and the songs are of various singers.

The reason I ask is, from my own perspective whenever I know of an EP release from say a Kpop artist I'm not that inspired to buy it. It's just 5 tracks. How long does it take to get sick of 5 songs as opposed to an album. You know what I mean? I know a lot of independent producers do release EPs too but it may be because they lack material, I dont know. What do you think is the better option for 1st release?
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Re: Release an album or EP?

Postby BigRedX » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:02 pm

What are you after? Actual sales? Or building a following of listeners? Although the two are no necessarily mutually exclusive for a new artist there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

I currently play in two bands, one is about to release its second (8 song) album, the other is engaged in putting out a series of single track releases.

Putting out a whole album certainly shows commitment especially if you are going to produce physical copies (CDs or vinyl or maybe even cassettes) as opposed to being a download only release. However in puts all your eggs in one basket, and what you will find is that a lot of potential listeners and reviewers won't get past the 2nd track. That's certainly been my experience with several bands when releasing music as an album. If it's a CD most potential listeners/reviewers will listen to the first track and perhaps part of the second one. For a release in vinyl they will probably check the first track on each side. Looking at our Spotify stats and when tracks get played on the radio and podcasts its the first track or two that get all the attention. The further into the album you get the fewer listens there are.

It also turns out that the song that has had the most listens of all from this "album" band is the one that was released as a stand-alone single when it was featured in an independent film.

My other band is releasing its recordings one song at a time and is doing rather well at it. The first single built up a fair amount of momentum for a totally unknown band that had only played a handful of gigs, and now we're gearing up for a our second single release which has already had a fair amount of interest on the back of our debut. We have a third track ready to go in the new year and by then we'll have been back into the studio too record some more songs which we intend to carry on releasing one at a time every three or four months. While this approach is probably more expensive overall, its giving equal preference to each individual song, each song stands or falls on its own merit and won't get over-looked simply because it's near the end of a 10 track album.

This might be a good route for the OP to take especially if there is a different singer on each song.
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Re: Release an album or EP?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:23 pm

Is there going to be a physical release or just digital?
If you're going for the former, I'd lean towards a full length album. I've always found it easier sell than an EP. That's assuming of course that the songs do form a coherent 'album'.
If you're just going to release digitally then there's a strong argument for single releases as set out by Big Red X.
There are pros and cons both ways of course, and sometimes it'll come down to the accessibility of the music.
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Re: Release an album or EP?

Postby awjoe » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:35 pm

Kinh wrote:It's just 5 tracks. How long does it take to get sick of 5 songs as opposed to an album. You know what I mean?

No, I don't know what you mean. I buy a lot of CDs (I'm a dinosaur, I know), but I don't buy CDs over singles because it takes longer to get sick of the songs that way. I'm doing EPs these days instead of full albums because I work very slowly and so if I do EPs, I can get something out every year instead of once every two years. But if I were in your situation (10 mastered sings all lined up and ready to roll out) I'd be asking just the one question: Do those 10 songs belong together for an artistic/thematic/aesthetic reason? If yes, I'd release them on the same album. If no, I'd release them as two EPs, a year or so apart, because it's more newsworthy and produces the impression that you're an active creative source, that something's always happening with you. Marketing. Image. As a way to get the music heard by more people (that's important, right?), EP is the way to go.

Next question to consider: Why not release them as a series of singles? It's not a suggestion, it's just curiosity about another option.
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