I'll not beat around the bush: If your goal is to build a career in music, build followers, get streams and placements, and not just have a nice work of art for your friends and family, you should switch to viewing singles as your main form of release. Here's why:
1. Consistency is King:
Being able to have something *new* on a consistent basis is huge in the social media age. It's the same reason why every YouTuber, brand, etc is posting on a schedule – daily, weekly, every 3 days, whatever. You now get to have new content and things to talk about on a regular basis.
Additionally, your true fans and super fans will learn that they can expect new music each month/two months/whatever, which helps people get invested and stay invested in what you're doing.
2. The Call to Action for a Single is Way Stronger than an Album
A Call to Action is simply marketing speak for the one specific thing you're asking the audience to do. The simpler the better. The easier for them to commit to, the better. Until you have the star power of Taylor Swift, it's always going to be easier and more clear to ask people to listen to a song than an entire album.
People are lazy. Asking someone to listen to an album is a COMMITMENT (kinda like how it's easier to watch 3 episodes of a show back to back than watch a movie). You want to ease the friction as much as possible.
It costs money to produce music and promote it. Instead of half-assing an entire album, put that same amount of money into one or two songs at a time so you can hire a great production team and/or mix engineer and actually devote time and money into the promotion process (maybe via ads), hiring a promoter, get cooler brand-wide graphics, shooting a video, etc.
4. Improve Your Process
Every release is a learning experience. I still learn something new every release with the artists I manage. Plus, what works for another artist won't necessarily work for you – you need to figure out what works for your audience/genre/brand. Doing one song at a time lets you iterate and learn.
David Ryan Olson
Hey I'm David. I'm a mix engineer and I run Evergreen Records. We are all about helping you grow.
If you'd like to work with us on your next project, or would love to chat about the music business, please don't hesitate to reach out!