After testing songs for live audiences, tweaking, recording, and garnering hype, musicians should consider when they should release their songs on streaming services.
When it comes to releasing music, timing is everything.
Consider releasing songs consistently or wait to release full albums as a band.
Should you wait to upload music to Spotify?
Waiting to release music on Spotify depends on how big of a following you already have.
Generally speaking, new artists do better when they release singles every week to improve engagement and appearance on Spotify’s playlists.
Bands with a solid following and fanbase should wait to upload smooth and cohesive albums for their listeners, but they should also release songs every other month.
In this article, we break down the best times for artists just breaking into the scene and artists with a solid following to release their songs.
Additionally, we consider how the Spotify algorithm works and how to best time the release of your songs to get bigger audiences.
Since the rise of streaming services like Spotify, artists have released full-length albums at much lower rates.
With unlimited choices and consumers’ focus (or lack thereof) on “the next best thing,” sitting down and listening to full albums is much rarer.
Of course, tremendous musicians like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and The Weeknd release full albums, but their following is already so large they don’t need to worry about algorithms.
There are several things you should consider before choosing between releasing singles and albums:
These factors can affect when you should release songs or albums and whether you should wait to drop LPs or EPs rather than releasing singles.
You should develop a strong marketing plan before you release songs on Spotify.
Play as many live shows as possible, try to book appearances on local radio stations, and be consistent on social media.
Albums are a difficult thing to make.
There are studio costs, the time-consuming nature, and the physical and mental demand it takes to produce a complete 30+ minute album.
Recording singles or Extended Plays (EPs) are much more accessible, especially for newer musicians.
But this doesn’t only save you a buck and your mental health; it also helps you with Spotify’s playlist algorithm.
New artists should work to upload new songs as often as possible. Spotify’s algorithm relies heavily on data; the more streams you have to your music, the more your songs will appear on Spotify’s infamous “Release Radar” or “Discover Weekly” playlists.
Releasing new songs will send your music into a cycle of new listeners and followers. Here is how the cycle will look:
- A listener stumbles on your music, goes to your Spotify artist page, and begins following you.
- Your Spotify Popularity Index increases.
- As your ranking goes up on the Popularity Index, your music makes it to more AI-generated playlists like Release Radar or Discover Weekly.
- These playlists make your music appear in new listeners’ Spotify, generating more plays.
- More plays mean your music will appear on the playlists more often.
- The cycle will repeat as you release more music.
The first song you release on Spotify may not get many listens, but don’t let that get you down! The more you release songs, the more data Spotify has to collect.
If you release a song weekly or monthly, your music will start appearing on the playlists more frequently as more people listen. It’s a long, step-by-step process, but it will pay off eventually.
Though you already have a solid fanbase, you still want to generate data for the Spotify algorithm.
If you don’t have any new music, live recordings or remixes are good options to keep the Spotify algorithm generating new listeners for your band.
Related article: How To Release Music With No Money In 2023
Considering the step-by-step process it takes for new artists to gain a large following on Spotify, it is not suggested that you wait to upload music to Spotify.
The only situation waiting would be suggested is if you have a large following on other social media and you have marketing programs like pre-save campaigns that are producing anticipation and excitement for your bigger releases.
More established bands, however, have the luxury of waiting to release some of their music in larger batches, like an LP or EP, and many listeners enjoy listening to albums all the way through.
So these bands have time to develop cohesive albums, have thematically similar songs, or have smooth transitions.
This is a great feeling for artists; their listeners also appreciate it.
For both new and more established artists, there are several reasons outside of Spotify you should wait to release full-length albums. Promotional and radio plays are much easier to obtain with a full album.
Importantly, booking concerts is much easier if you have an album under your belt, as it shows you can attract an audience to the stage.
The good news for new artists is you can combine your singles into a full album for an additional release.
Algorithms aside, it is always a good idea for new or established artists to release consistent songs. Fans love hearing from artists, and singles give small tastes of what albums will sound like.
You’ll have time to focus on bigger pieces as you get bigger.