As an artist, musician or band, it is essential to brainstorm the pros and cons of your music release styles. Many significant factors come into play while you're in the process of planning your album.
What type of project should you put out? Who is your audience? What's your budget?
The big question is, how many songs should be on this album of yours? As an undiscovered act, your project length can greatly affect the results of your exposure.
EPs offer you a chance to make a shorter album, while LPs give you a chance to make a longer album. Let's briefly go over the benefits of making an EP vs. LP release benefits.
An EP is an extended play musical project that is usually 2-5 songs in length and under 30 minutes in total. EPs are generally the go-to for newly signed or unsigned artist projects.
EPs work best for an artist's budget since they don't require as much studio time, mixing and mastering fees, and other miscellaneous costs that are associated with releasing a full album.
Related Post: Read about the Budget-Friendly Demo and how it can help you get heard.
EPs also work very well for unsigned/indie artists and bands because each song on the project can get more attention than songs on full-length albums can.
Indie artists can essentially take the time to market each of the 3-5 tracks separately within a relatively short time span, while longer projects can have 'album only' songs that don't get that much shine.
It is recommended for all artists to start with an EP before delving into the long and challenging task of writing, recording, and marketing a full LP.
An LP is also known as a long-playing record. The term 'LP' came from the use of vinyl records. LPs are essentially full albums that include around 8-12 songs on the project and feature at least 30 minutes of music total.
These full-length albums are the most common form of music projects; they just aren't called 'LPs' as much anymore due to their vinyl origins being a bit out of style (although vinyl is starting to make a comeback!).
LPs work well for established artists who have fans who are actively seeking new song content. They also work great for projects with an intent to tell a story or projects that have a specific mood across multiple songs; an EP may not be able to properly articulate a full album idea.
Your method of song release depends on your style, vision, fan base, and budget. If you've never released a project with more than one song, I recommend starting with an EP, but it really is up to you!
Either way, you can still get your songs distributed to streaming sites like Apple Music and Spotify. Check out some popular artists that are similar to your style and see how they handled their first music releases.
Want to know the EP vs. LP success probability? Both styles of releases can have tremendous success when properly planned and executed. If, after releasing one style of project, you realize that the other option would have worked better, use the opposite style for your next release!
Related Post: Read Tips For Marketing Your Album As An Independent Artist
Albums nowadays have a hard limit of 100 songs when it comes to releasing your music through distribution channels like CD Baby and Tunecore to get your songs the popular streaming sites. Other distributors like Distrokid put the limit at 35 songs.
Most music fans only have an attention span for about 20 songs max, so don't feel like you're missing out if you can't put 100 or more songs on your album.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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