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6 Important Dates to Add to Your Release Calendar

6 Important Dates to Add to Your Release Calendar

Planning your release is one of the most exciting parts of music promotion. Your album is almost done!

But it’s hard to put together a release calendar without missing anything—and that can have serious consequences for your promotion efforts.

However, you won’t have to worry if you keep the main points in mind.

Here’s 6 important dates you can’t afford to miss for your release.

1. Distribution window

Digital distribution is as easy as it’s ever been. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter stumbling blocks along the way.

The best way to protect your release strategy is to give yourself plenty of time in advance of your deadlines.

The best way to protect your release strategy is to give yourself plenty of time in advance of your deadlines.

That goes double if your release contains samples that need to be cleared or cover songs.

It’s not that you can’t include those things, they just tend to add some time to the process.

The first important date you should add to your calendar is nice long window for passing the bar on distribution. Especially if you have covers and samples!

2. Lead time for physical duplication

Will you be making physical copies of your music in any form? If so, you’ll be adding some moving parts to your release.

But that’s ok! Physical music media still sells surprisingly well, especially if you’re selling it yourself at live shows and events.

Get fast, insightful support and promotional tips, tools and tricks and distribution to 100+ music streaming platforms when you release your tracks with LANDR. Release a track.

In the analog era, you would need to have your physicals in hand before release—there was no other way to hear the music!

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But today, your digital properties can be ready much faster. Do your best to sync things up, even if it’s not totally essential.

Having a stack of vinyls to sell at a release show is extremely satisfying!

If you’re duplicating independently, most vendors can give you fairly reliable dates for when your run will ship.

But make sure to allow for some wiggle room in case you encounter any delays. They can happen unexpectedly.

3. Premieres, singles, video launch dates

Premieres are a super effective strategy for promoting your release.

Premieres are a super effective strategy for promoting your release.

A premiere means giving a media outlet exclusive access to streaming your track before it officially debuts with the rest of the release.

Blog curators love premieres since they can redirect the traffic you would normally generate on multiple channels exclusively to their platform.

Think of it like extra incentive for them to provide coverage of your release. Premieres are a symbiotic relationship that can allow you to get posted on media with broader reach.

Video launches are another take on this idea.

Music outlets are even more likely to cover a pre-release single if it has a video. Richer content generally holds the listener’s attention better, making it more valuable to blogs and aggregators.

Secure a premiere or video launch for your main “single” at the very least. And try to find them for the rest of the forward-facing tracks from your release.

Get the dates of your premieres onto your calendar as fast as you can, and keep them in mind. These could be some of the biggest events in your release cycle.

4. Album launch party

Did you think music promotion was only online these days? Wrong.

Offline music promotion will always be an important channel.

That means that real world events like concerts and tours are still a huge part of music promotion.

Even if you’re not creating physical copies of your release, marking the occasion with an IRL experience is important.

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Book your album launch far enough in advance to make sure you get your first choice of venues and supporting acts for the bill.

5. Social roll-out

Social media is an essential part of any release. You need to be strategic about how you post on socials coming up to launch.

Reading an interview, streaming a premiere, or watching a video is much more satisfying for your followers than scrolling past empty hype posts.

Remember that even though people might be excited about your release, countdowns and teaser posts don’t really offer anything your followers can interact with meaningfully.

Instead, try to calendar out an engaging stream of content in advance using the promotional materials you created for the release.

Reading an interview, streaming a premiere, or watching a video is much more satisfying for your followers than scrolling past empty hype posts.

Use your release calendar to make sure your social cadence keeps up steam as you move toward the date.

6. The day it goes live

The most important date on your release calendar is the day it comes out!

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This is your drop dead deadline, but it doesn’t have to be scary.

A little bit of deadline pressure can give you great incentive to finish your release materials.

A little bit of deadline pressure can give you great incentive to finish your release materials.

Set your release date conservatively, but with enough urgency to motivate you to follow through.

Don’t worry about coordinating your release events perfectly with the date, just aim for a sense of cohesion around the time your music becomes available to fans.

Release calendar year

Putting together your release calendar is an important part of making the biggest splash you can with your release.

With all the work you’ve put into making your music, you need to give your release schedule the same attention.

So get ready to put it out there—but make sure you include these six important dates on your release calendar.

Michael Hahn

Michael Hahn is an engineer and producer at Autoland and member of the swirling indie rock trio Slight.

@Michael Hahn

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