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Fall 2021 Release Guide

Single Music’s Fall 2021 Release Guide

It’s almost fall, y’all! Can you believe that?

After 2020 seemed to last for 15 months, 2021 so far has felt more like 15 minutes. But here we are, bearing down on what should be a heavy release season, and we’re back to update some 2021 release strategies we’ve seen working well. Sprinkling these ideas in as exclusive offerings in your own web store is a great way to hype, deliver and monetize your album!

 

1. Digital Signatures

It’s no secret, fans love an autograph. Limited edition alternate album covers enhanced with a digital signature can ignite your fans desire for collectibles and unique content. When offered exclusively through your store, the autographed album is a great driver for fans to purchase directly from you, and can serve as a very valuable addition to your sales strategy and success. Read more on digital signatures here.

^ Isaiah Rashad “The House Is Burning” and Migos “Culture III”


2. Unique Artwork

Know what your fans may love even more than your album artwork? Two (or more!) versions of your album artwork! This idea can take flight a few different ways: re-releases, deluxe versions, anniversaries or limited-time offerings as a pre-save/presale offering. Trying any of these ideas as exclusive offerings in your store can extend the life of your release well beyond the initial hype.

^ Nick Jonas “Spaceman” physical album (top) and digital album (bottom) alternate covers


3. Upselling

With every new release comes the opportunity to debut a new line of merchandise that helps define who you are in this moment in your career. Even though merch bundles may be a thing of the past, using an upsell tool to tie a release more closely with the merchandise you’re offering is a sensible and simple way to get fans all in on your current brand. Tie your higher value and higher margin merchandise with an optional add-on album, earning charting sales through your next merch campaign.

^ Coldplay debuted a new line of merch that closely ties with their new album, putting all of the items on pre-sale together months in advance

 

4. Unique tracks

Another idea your fans are sure to love is the dropping unique audio tracks on special or limited edition versions of your release. On an alternate album version sold directly through your store, you could include a thank you audio liner, songwriting commentary or various alternative versions of a track or tracks (outtakes, demos, acoustic takes, instrumental, a cappella, or even a collaborative remix with another artist).

^ On Super M’s 2020 album “Super One,” each member version of the album includes a track, narrated by the corresponding member of SuperM, which delivers the core message of the “Super One” Project. The member versions of the album are a DTC exclusive on the SuperM official website and SM Global Shop Website.

5. Album Release Party

You’ve put all this work into the record, so why wait until it’s time to tour to connect with your fans and promote it with some personal and unique content? Consider a virtual listening or preview party, where you can meet some fans, preview or sell merch, and get them even more hyped about your release! What’s more, using a livestream ticket as an add-on to a higher margin, physical piece of merchandise is a great way to incentivize fans to buy both directly from your store.

Virtual release parties are just one way you can put our monetized video platform to work as you prep your release (and get back out on the road). Check out some other ideas here!

^ Anberlin plays their 7th livestream event via Single’s Monetized Video platform, performing their album “Lowborn” in its entirety and then doing a virtual Q&A

All of these release ideas, whether used together or piece meal, add up to a strong and creative direct-to-consumer sales strategy for when you’re ready to put your music out there. Interested in using your Shopify store to power your next digital release? Reach out to our artist support team, and let’s talk about how we can help you!

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