Releasing your music single to the world is a daunting task for new musicians and veterans alike. The idea that you music won’t reach the audience you intended or worse any audience at all can drive you made. Having a proven music release checklist can make the whole process smoother, while allowing you to document what you tried and what worked for you.
Our music release checklist process for new music
- Mix and mastered audio file (.WAV)
- Official video
- Collab video
- Performance video
- Lyric video
- Behind the scenes video
- Press Release
- Update EPK / One sheet
- Design cover art (.JPEG or .PNG)
- Website design
- Register song with copyright office
- Cover song? Secure mechanical license
- Complete songwriter splits document.
- Register song with PRO or publishing admin
- Set a release date
- Explore merch opportunities
8-6 weeks before release:
- Mastered song (16-bit, 44.1 kHz WAV)
- Cover art file (3000 x 3000 resolution JPEG or PNG)
- Songwriter credits
- ISRC code
- Upload to music distributor
- Upload to SoundCloud (Set as Private)
- Run brand awareness campaign
6 weeks before release:
- Start a task timeline or calendar
- Submit for Spotify editorial playlist consideration
- Launch pre-save / pre-order campaign link
- Create smart link or pivot/landing page
4 weeks before release:
- Pitch to Spotify Playlist
- Prepare single announcement post
- Day of release post
- Incorporating Patreon
- Upload audio message to Pandora AMP
- Consider live streaming
14 Days Before the Release:
- Have social media posts ready with captions and hashtags
- Design your email newsletter
- Get smart link / pivot page ready
- Schedule official music video release (YouTube and Facebook) For day of release
- Schedule Lyric video release (YouTube and Facebook) For day of release
- Schedule Performance video release (YouTube and Facebook) For 7 days after release
- Schedule Collab music video release (YouTube and Facebook) For 14 days after release
- Create custom thumbnails for your videos
- Prep video clips for social media ads
Day of Release Checklist:
Promote on social media channels
- Instagram Stories
- Post on your YouTube Community tab
- Post message to your trackers on Bandsintown
- Send a direct message to followers on Bandcamp
Upload Official music video (YouTube, Facebook, IGTV)
- Embed the video into your smart link, landing page or Linktree page (for pro users).
- Add smart link in the video description.
- If you upload to Facebook, pin the video to the top and make it a featured video.
Update YouTube channel
- Add your video as a featured video for your channel.
- Add to your playlist for music videos.
- Add a link card to take viewers to your website or landing page.
- Add the art track of your single to your channel as a playlist. This is autogenerated if you opted in to have it created from your music distributor.
Update your website
- Create a page for the single, add a smart link and embed the music video to the website.
- If you have specific merch for the release, make it available for purchase.
- If you created a custom landing page, make sure to embed music video there and add links to the individual streaming platforms.
Update social media profiles
- Add the smart link for your single to all your social media profiles.
- If you created a banner or avatar graphic for the release, update it at this time.
Make the song public
- Apple Music
- Amazon Music
- Apple Music / iTunes
- Genius (Genius.com)
- Instagram Stories (via Musixmatch.com)
Launch social media ad campaigns
- Facebook / Instagram Ads
- Spotify Ads
- YouTube Ads
- Post your tour to songbirds
- Keep promoting on social media
- Resend email to those who didn’t open the first one
- Create your own themed playlist based off your release and share it
- Look for playlist opportunities for your song
- Seek independent blog coverage
- Set up payment splits for mechanical royalties (DistroKid)
- Check release schedule for video and song versions (performance, collab, etc.)
- Schedule your next release!