I won’t pretend to be a release expert, in fact, I am learning new ways to go about it with every song. With that said, there are some useful ideas I will share. I encourage you to share your ideas in the form at the end of the guide. I’d love to expand this section in the future.
Listen closely to what your most loyal listeners have to say when you first release a new song. They have heard your music before and have expectations and will judge your newest song against your previous releases. You want to identify how this core audience receives the new song and make note of their feedback.
In some cases, you may need to pull your new song and make emergency edits, typically within the first 24 hours of release. Due to this possibility, it might be best to either expand your feedback groups to get more opinions before release or to only notify your core audience on release and save the larger promotion for later.
I am not a huge fan of releasing Works in Progress (WIP), but this is another way to reach the core audience for feedback.
Once you are confident there are no major issues with the song, then you can begin sharing to your wider net of listeners and newcomers. Taking note of the songs reception can be tricky when just starting out due to lack of listens, but some data can be pulled that might be helpful.
Also, any feedback at this stage, although not as solid as your core, is still important to keep going forward.
As with anything, you want to be open to what others have to say. Sometimes a new fan will bring in a fresh perspective and that can be quite helpful.
Act on the Feedback
To me, the most important part of the release is the feedback it generates. If all is quiet, that can mean people enjoy it but maybe they don’t love it. When you are getting mostly negative reviews, take it for what it’s worth and build upon the most common feedback. I wouldn’t focus too much on the random or less detailed feedback, but look for trends.
Lastly, if everyone really likes the song, then you can pat yourself on the back and know that you just rose the bar even higher for your next song.