A debate that remains in the music industry is whether it is better for artists to release singles or albums. Does one "secure" more success for our music career than the other? Does it actually matter? With any argument we must weigh the pros and cons of each side to see if one is a better fit than the other for your career path. Let's get started!
Singles are the "Jingle"
1) In our rapid consumerism culture we are always craving for something shiny, new and exciting! These are all factors that our "feel good" serotonin hormones feed off of! Logically speaking, releasing singles every 2-3 months keeps you "current" and you won't be easily forgotten if you are consistently putting your name and music in front of consumers who are looking for the next best thing. Consistency will show new and existing fans that you're still creating and keeps them engaged!
2) Another benefit in releasing singles is airplay! Nowadays it's not so much airplay on radio anymore but on streaming platforms such as Spotify. An artist can directly submit their singles to many different playlists for consideration to increase "exposure" and find other playlist curators to submit to. From a radio station standpoint, they would prefer to play singles rather than listen to a whole album to find a song to play!
3) From a production standpoint, producing a single is much less expensive than a full album especially for start-up artists. We are a generation seeks things or situations that stimulates as many senses as possible. Coupling the audio with a visual ie. making a music video serves as an extra marketing and promotion tool for your single AND with YouTube being one of the top 3 search engines in the world, music lovers are discovering new artists from YouTube alone!
The "Album Year"
I recently learned that this is a podcast where "music nerds and collaborators" Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness choose, dissect, discuss and share their opinions about their favourite music released during the golden album years around 1965 to the end of the millennium. An album shows more intent and conviction of an artist that tells a whole story. An EP/LP is more substantial and provides a statement in the industry. It gives your listeners more content to listen to especially if they find a track that really resonates - they want more - NOW!
An album also shows your listeners your musical growth and evolution. Speaking from my personal experience from my #Connections EP to #Connected LP to my 3 newest singles, and to the projects I'm creating now, my sound, writing journey and process have improved and changed that reflects my personal and musical growth!
Why Not Do Both?
The playing field in today's music industry is always changing. It is more complex than ever. Music is not only consumed at a "faster" rate but it is also unpredictable. But listening habits still vary over different demographics and genres! For example, Alicia Keys' latest album "ALICIA" was released last week but she released a few singles over the course of almost 1 year leading up to the full album reveal. Each single can have a different release strategy and can create excitement and anticipation among your listeners for the full album!
But "You do You"! There's no right or wrong strategy. If you feel that your tracks are meant to be listened as a whole, then go the album route but if you feel the track itself has a voice of its own, on its own, the single strategy is just as impactful! In the end, you as the artist and creator will choose what works the best for you, your music, and your art at the time!