This Is Why You Really Can't Release DIY
This Is Why You Really Can't Release DIY
Submitted ByPeter Åstedt
I'm working with The Magnettes new single "American" and I just see all the things that a DIY artist really can't release right. It's not even possible with them knowing what is needed. In fact most are actually out there available for free to grab. They can't really access all these channels needed.
Sure, there are plenty of outlets for the DIY artist to reach Spotify and some other platforms. Why I just say Spotify is more that is the general DIY artist just cares about Spotify and really nothing else. They think as long it's on Spotify it will get discovered somehow.
There are almost 40 000 releases uploaded to Spotify each day. So just start with that you need to have the knowledge to release on a Friday when the official release day is. Just this week I have seen at least twenty DIY artists upload and release on other days of the week. Sometimes even on holidays, like someone would take more notice on a holiday. Just that simple thing can make the DIY release just go wrong.
There is so much more to the whole process. The Magnettes will release in two weeks. Still the PR campaign has been going on for already four weeks. For this release we have six PR teams working on different territories. On top of that, we have people doing market PR for just one country. In total the whole PR team is 16 people that need to be coordinated. Even before the single was correctly mixed and mastered, demo versions went out to different teams to determine if they were interested to work with it at all.
For a DIY artist you can't even reach these team and you will have no access. They will only work with artists that are released by professionals because they have all their assets together. I just took a non-scientific survey with our release team on the digital distribution and asked them how many artists actually had all their assets together? One out of a hundred was the conclusion. Can it really be that hard?
For a single, you need, single master, press photos (five of them), a front cover for the single, a lyric video, a video, and a press release. It's really not that hard. These are the basics. We saw that in the DIY artists out of 100 releases none had the basics covered. Instead we had to go back and ask for basic material.
To make this harder,that was just the basics. On top of this you need to update all your social media, homepages with new material, press information, and other things. The five photos should be in a way that it's in different formats so it can fit most situations. The video should be ready before the release of the single, not after release. The biography should contain some cool line that makes people want to read about it, not just that you are about to release a new single. It should contain quotes from the artist and quotes from media on your earlier releases.
Then you have all the hidden outlets. In The Magnettes case I have now added them to 25 different upload places for radio, so the song is in the system. I have also presented the new song to over 250 music supervisors so it can be added to commercials, tv series, movies. And for that I need to have even more assets together like rights & ownerships, instrumental and clean versions. Then I also have been co-ordinating with special teams that handle Youtube, so the song can be placed with influencers. I also pre-cleared it for use in sports events. Everywhere it's played it counts. I have also set up all the accounts to measure all the PR activities that we are driving to see what is working and not working.
I have a special relationship with our aggregator so I have personally spoken to them to add this release as a priority release. This can't even be done by a DIY artist aggregator. On top of that I have spoken to my contacts on different outlets, so like china speed on the process guaranteeing it's on their servers faster. I have pitched it to Spotify and added it to Shazam. Updated Wikipedia. I have also cleared the lyrics so any site that handles lyrics has the right version and on that we get paid every time it's looked at.
Also, I have presented the song for over 1000 industry people to find new ways and stuff to get the songs heard in different ways. These contacts are personal so it's very hard for a DIY artist to just tap into this vast amount of contacts.
This is just a small part of all the things that a record label and professional manager does around an artist. In the end releasing as DIY artists is impossible. These outlets are not open to the self-releasing community.
No it's not just that your song is on Spotify. In The Magnettes case we also have secured Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, Tencent and more. Things that we have because of our huge network of people. This is also the reason why a full campaign takes almost 10 weeks to go through. The average DIY is mainly put it up with one-week notice and do a couple of Instagram and Facebook posts. No as you guessed that is not enough.
And this is just the basics. We haven't even talked about the fact that your song also has to be good!
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Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham.