If you weren’t paying attention, the method to release music to the public began to change a few years ago. Instead of recording a group of songs for an album release with a single to promote it, artists with big social followings began using a “Quick Release Formula” with songs released every month or 6 weeks, with the album only becoming available as a compilation at the end of the cycle.
Why It Works
This made a lot of sense for the modern artist. For one thing, every song release would be a separate event, so instead of just one event for the album and maybe another for a single or two, instead there’d be 11 events – 10 singles (or however many songs are in the cycle) plus the album. That’s a lot more potential engagement over a longer period of time.
The other big advantage of the Quick Release Formula is that it gave the fans ample time to digest the song. We’ve all purchased an album in the past where after a quick listen we zero in on a couple of tunes that we really like and keep playing them, never giving the others much of a chance. Separate releases gives the listener ample time to decide whether they like it or not.
And Now To Radio
While multiple fast releases have worked well online, radio promotion has stayed in its traditional lane of picking a single, promoting it for weeks or months until it peaks, then begin pushing a follow-up. That’s now begun to change over the last year as superstar artists like Arianna Grande and Justin Bieber have released multiple songs almost simultaneously to radio with great success. In fact, Bieber current has 4 songs in the Top 20 alone.
Record labels and radio program directors are only now opening up to the fact that this could be a good strategy for a superstar artist. In the past, label promotion departments would have pushed back with not having enough resources to support multiple singles at the same time. Likewise, radio would have said that most listeners didn’t want to consume that much music from a single artist.
But listening habits have changed thanks to streaming and social media. Usually by the time radio gets a hot single, it’s almost played out on the streaming platforms and social. Program directors are cognizant of this though, and have tried to take their playlist cues more from social these days to stay quicker on the draw for what’s hot. Adopting the Quick Release Formula might help it stay more relevant in the future.