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Record Release Checklist

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2 Black Vinyls With Leaves With Camera And Laptop

So your album is finally finished and you are anxious to release your new music to the world! Here are some questions to ask yourself before release day!

We live in a global industry of intellectual property rights that was once based on the trade of physical goods and is transforming itself into a digital market where physical goods are becoming more like boutique items (vinyl). More than ever before, it's extremely important to have all of your data properly in place and all of the details of your release planned out in advance.

Besides having written, recorded, mixed, mastered, made the album artwork and then sent your album to a physical pressing plant, digital distributor, or both, there are still a few key points to remember before releasing your new record to the world. Here is a checklist with questions to help you with the organizational adventure of your album launch.


Metadata is the data that describes other data. For your album it would be associated with the digital information containing the song name, artist name, artwork etc. Also, metadata is used in digital distribution such as with ISRC and barcodes, which you will need for tracking sales and plays. If you release your album on a physical format then the metadata of your songs will be registered with Gracenote. Gracenote is a company that maintains and licenses an Internet-accessible database containing information about the contents of audio compact disks and vinyl records.

Are your songs registered with a Performing Rights Society?

The only way to collect royalties from when your music is performed live, played on radio or TV, streamed online, downloaded internationally etc. is if your songs are registered with a Performing Rights Society. You want to make sure your songs are registered so that you get the royalties you deserve.

Do you have a website?

It's important to have a website that is kept up to date because it will make it easier to find you and your music on the internet and also it is more personal creative space for your fans to visit than all the other brand-name social media networks. Also if you connect your website with Google Analytics you can find out how many visits you get and from where and when.

Are you creating a buzz for your new release on all possible social media networks?

You should be found on as many social media networks as possible. This just reinforces and amplifies the potential of your music being found and heard. Also, you should use these networks as a platform for creating a buzz about your new record before you release it. This can be done with singles, music videos, a contest for winning tickets to your record release concert, posting and hyperlinking reviews and interviews that pertain to your record release.

Do you have a press release text for your album?

A properly written press release text is essential for getting attention to your new album in the press. There are plenty of templates to be found online that can help. You can then send this press release along with your EPK and new album to music journalists, radio stations, magazines and blogs.

Are you using professional photos?

Nothing is less attractive than grainy amateur photos, so make sure you have professional looking press photos. It helps to make photos that in their composition and color scheme reflect the mood of the kind of record you are releasing. Don't copy the style of photo that the most popular bands are using for their posters at the moment, be as unique with your image as you are with your music.

The Promotional Mailing List?

You should have a promotional mailing list that you send your fans information about upcoming events and releases. You can link this to your website with MailChimp or other Apps.

Are you having a record release concert aftershow party or a listening party?

It is already fantastic to have a record release concert but it is even more impressive to throw a party afterwards. If you have an exclusive guest list for the aftershow party it may even help you to get more people who work in the media to come to your record release show. Also you can organize a record release listening party that is separate from the live show, where you listen to the album itself.

What kind of venue is best for your record release?

This is an issue that deals with both logistics and aesthetics. First, you need really good sound that suits your music. You need a room that will hold the amount of people you invite but also there should be space in the room for social intermingling for your fans. It can be uncomfortable going to concerts where there is nowhere to get out of the crowd and have a conversation. Also you will want an ideal space for setting up your merchandise with plenty of lighting so that people can see your albums artwork and be able to read the print.

Do you have a tour organized for after your release date?

If you want to make a larger impact with your record release than you should have a tour organized for the weeks or months soon after releasing your record when there is momentum. This should be booked months in advance.

So now you played your album release show, got great reviews, went on tour, sold out of all your physical albums and are back home. It's time to start planning to do it all over again and with each release you will get more creative and more successful at streamlining your own process.

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All You Need.
All in One Place.

Get tips on How to Succeed as an Artist, receive Music Distribution Discounts, and get the latest iMusician news sent straight to your inbox! Everything you need to grow your music career.