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The best time to release music matters in the new music world.
If you don’t choose the right day of the week and time to release music on streaming services, you could seriously damage your chances of anybody hearing that music.
Independent artists will need to take care of releasing their own music at the best time, whereas artists signed to major labels will find their releases are always targeted to ensure fans hear their songs on release date.
We asked a bunch of industry experts what day artists should release music on and this is what we learned.
The music industry has changed in recent years and the right day of the week to release new music has changed as well.
If you opt for the more traditional, classic timing to drop your new music on streaming services it may backfire. You’ll be doing yourself a major disservice and your fans may be frustrated that they miss your release altogether.
The Billboard Chart used to be the most important barometer of success in the American music scene.
If your music wasn’t in the top 100, then your music wasn’t being heard.
The Billboard sales charts were published every Wednesday which meant if you wanted to maximize your sales figures, you needed to release your music on a Tuesday.
And if you rely on radio airplay this may still be a good day to release physical media because many radio stations are used to putting together their playlists based on this date and the digital age hasn’t changed this.
In the pre-Covid world, the answer was different.
This is probably reflective of the need to unwind from a week at work and if you wanted a music release to catch people’s attention then either dropping it just before this period or releasing it on the Thursday evening before meant that you were most likely to get people to listen to that music in the same week as it came out.
However, one interesting thing borne out by the data was that while it was best to drop music onto streaming services on a Friday, it was best to wait a full week before launching it on YouTube. The desire for the video was driven by the fans engaging with the music and then pushing to “see the music” too.
There was an exception to this rule too – holiday music. Sometimes, if your music was meant to reflect a special occasion or a holiday, it was best to put the song out on the day of the holiday.
In a post-Covid world, there’s certainly been some transition back to Friday as the ideal time to get your tunes out there.
However, a lot depends on your audience and if you use a music analytics package (like these 10 tools for artists) then you can get real insights into the behaviors of your fans and you can tailor the perfect launch date based on their behavior.
In fact, music analytics are so incredibly powerful that they’ve changed the face of the industry forever.
There’s no doubt that for most artists the answer is still “Friday” and that the buzz created by timing the release for then ensures great social media coverage over the weekend too.
But for some, it might be completely different. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little and learn what your audience really wants.
Releasing songs so that they can fit in the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. window on a Friday is industry wisdom for the best time to get your tunes out there and unless you have analytical data to contradict this it’s probably the best time to get your song online too.
You can always experiment a little by releasing on Spotify at one time, Bandcamp at another, and so on… to see what works best for you. If you use a music distribution service (like these ones) you may be able to automate this experimentation and collate data for future use too.
Marketing your songs or album is as much an art as it is a science. But your marketing of new releases is likely to be much more successful if you get the dates right for your launch.
Even a solo artist can get the right information over time to maximize the money and fans for each track as they release online. This is one of the ways that the music industry has improved in the last few years.
So, good luck, we hope your next release, whether on a Friday or not, is a smash hit.