Reason #1 – You can get your music out there as quickly as possible
The sooner you get your music out there, the sooner people can start listening.
Sure, it’s unlikely that your first single will blow up…
But there’s a chance people will love it. And let me tell you… nothing feels better than getting complimented on your music.
Reason #2 – A single is less risk than an EP or album
Releasing an album or even an EP can be risky. It’s a lot of work.
You’re putting everything into one album or EP… and you’re not even sure how the market will respond.
Plus, there’s always the risk you don’t ever finish it.
On the other hand, releasing a single is low risk. It’s a smaller time commitment, so you have less to lose.
Reason #3 – You can learn as you go
When you release an EP or album, the problem is that you already finished all your songs…
So when you eventually share your music and get feedback, it’s too late to change anything.
But when you release a single, you can immediately take that feedback on board and start working on the next track.
Besides, it’s the act of finishing music that helps you to grow faster… and every time you finish a track, you will learn new stuff that makes the next one even better.
Reason #4 – Singles are better for marketing
Back in the 50s and 60s, people didn’t go to the store to buy albums. They listened to music on the radio.
Artists back then knew that the best way to have success on the radio was to focus on making hit singles.
This is all changed when the “album era” started in the late 60s…
But now in 2020, we’ve gone full circle.
Albums are still important, of course… but people don’t buy albums like they used to.
In today’s climate — which is dominated by streaming platforms — it’s better to keep your audience engaged by frequently releasing new material.
As Robbie Snow of Hollywood Records puts it:
“In this day and age, we try to keep things flowing so artists almost never go away. Fans want to be engaged constantly with artists that they like.”
That’s why successful artists today are releasing more singles than ever.
Camilla Cabello released five different singles, trying new stuff each time, until one of them took off (‘Havana’).
Jason Derulo has released five singles since his last album.
Taylor Swift put out four singles before Reputation.
But this “singles era” doesn’t only apply to to major label artists…
As a small independent artist, each single is a new opportunity to “market” yourself to the world. It allows you to create a buzz several times per year, instead of once per year.
Then, if you want to turn that collection of singles into an EP or album one day, go for it.
UPDATE: We released a guest video explaining how to use Facebook ads to promote a Spotify release:
Reason #5 – Singles are more motivating and lead to long-term success
Releasing a single is a quick win.
You’ll get the satisfaction of releasing something much sooner. This will give you a huge burst of motivation — and you’ll finally have something to share with people.
On the other hand, recording an EP/album can be a draining experience. It’s hard work. You toil over it for months on end, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it through to the other side.
Put simply, singles are more fun because you get to finish music and share it more often.
Now I want to hear from you…
What’s stopping you from releasing a single this year?
If you’ve read this far, you know it’s a good idea. However, I’d like to know what’s stopping you from doing it.
So, comment below and let me know.
P.S. I have something very special to share with you next week.
On Monday, January 20th, we’re launching a brand new course.
Mark your calendar for that date, and keep an eye on your inbox for more info.
Audio professional, musician and founder of Musician on a Mission.