I recommend “The New Rockstar Philosophy” by Matt Voyno and Roshan Hoover for band members touring acts, booking agents, up coming producers and the like. It’s a rather brief refresher to those who are out of touch with how touring acts and recording artists make money in this social media jungle. Chapter 17 (THE 3P: A Three-Song EP That Comes Out Every Three Months) is a really good idea and I’ve shared it below.
- AUTOPSY OF AN INDUSTRY
- WHO ARE YOU?
- YOUR BAND IS A MARRIAGE
- IMAGE ISN’T A DIRTY WORD
- DEFINING YOUR AUDIENCE
- THE ART OF PRACTICE
- MAKING FRIENDS
- CLAIMING YOUR DIGITAL HOME BASE
- TAMING THE SOCIAL MEDIA BEAST
- YOUTUBE + ONLINE VIDEO
- BLOGGERS + PUBLICITY
- THE 3P: RE-EVALUATING THE ALBUM
- MANAGE YO MONEY
- THE NANO TOUR
- SHOWCASES + CONFERENCES
- PUBLISHING + LICENSING
- ART OF THE COLLECTIVE
- THE NANO ROCKSTAR
Shared with the permission of: Suzanne Paschall of Indie Ink <email@example.com>
THE 3P RE-EVALUATING THE ALBUM
“Albums are for fans. Singles are for newbies.” – BOB LEFSETZ
Many bands think that if they create 10–12 songs they should record an album. Then they go ahead and spend a sweet chunk of change doing so. They’ll spend even more money to press CDs even when they know most people download music for free. After the CD release, they stop promoting the album because they thought it was all about the release party. They then get discouraged and break-up because not enough people cared about their expensive “masterpiece.” So before you spend any money recording an album, you should ask yourself a very important
Why are you recording an album?
COMPETITION FOR ATTENTION
There is an abundance of music out there. It’s always been a challenge to get and keep people’s attention, but today it’s even harder. You can download an album in minutes and not even listen to half the tracks because you’ve downloaded 20 other albums in an afternoon.
Great albums are usually a collection of artistically linked songs. Although you can design an album that’s meant to be listened from front to back, typically that’s only going to appeal to people after they’ve become fans. They won’t have the patience to listen to your whole album in one go if they’re first time listeners.
Even at an affordable studio, you can rack up a large bill recording an album. It’s common for indie artists to spend more than $10,000 recording and pressing an album. Home recording studios are an option, but in that case you need to know the software, the gear, work with the space, and know how to get the right sounds. What’s worse still, is that your hard work gets stashed away in your parent’s garage when it doesn’t sell as much as expected.
RE-IMAGINING THE ALBUM
If great albums are defined by the greatness of the songs on them ,couldn’t an EP with three of four songs, which are all great, also have impact on new fans? If you’re in a new band, isn’t your number one priority to gain an audience?
INTRODUCING THE 3P: A Three-Song EP That Comes Out Every Three Months
YOU STAY MOTIVATED!
Since you’re regularly releasing new music, you’re always promoting something fresh. It’s easy to lose motivation trying to promote songs you wrote years ago. It’s so much more fun and exciting to promote something new. When you are excited about your product, you’ll keep pushing.
FANS COME BACK
As fans keep coming back to your site for new music, you’ll get more opportunity to let them know what else you got going on. People will come to check out the new music and see your fine t-shirts, tour dates, new content and anything else you want them to check out. Treat your 3P like you would a full length with proper videos, photos, etc., for your fans.
Releasing a 3P doesn’t break the bank in one go. You can record, mix, and master three songs for a lot less than a 12-song album. Just make sure you stick to your budget.
FOCUS ON THE SONGS
It’s not always easy to make every song on an album great. Things get lost in the shuffle of money and studio time. Releasing three songs at a time helps you focus on making all those songs great. Your music is the most important thing you do. If fans get great songs, they will spread the word for you. If you consistently deliver, you’ll continue to grow your audience.
EASY ON DIGESTION
For new fans, if they get new music, they may listen to it front to back, but chances are they’ll skip through the songs until they find one that grabs them. Releasing fewer songs at a time means your fans can get into each song with less filler.
INCREASED STUDIO EXPERIENCES
Since a 3P is its own entity, your sessions will be shorter. You’ll be in the studio more often, but you’ll be working on new 3Ps instead of the same album. You’ll have more experience working in a studio and in each session you’ll probably learn something that will help for next time.
LESS RISK TRYING OUT NEW IDEAS
Staying true to what you want to express and keeping fans happy can sometimes be tough to balance. Releasing 3Ps allows you to experiment and see how fans will react, without losing too much money or time.
HAVE HYPED UP 3P RELEASE SHOWS FOUR TIMES A YEAR
How often do you normally have a new music release show? Maybe once a year? With the 3P you can have four release shows per year and have an excuse to make a big deal out of each one.
PHYSICAL COPIES ON DEMAND
Some people will want your music in physical format even if you just have one 3P out. For them, burn and package custom copies as you need them. You save money and boxes of unsold CDs.
ALBUM AT THE END OF THE YEAR
If you release three 3Ps for the year, you have nine songs that have been promoted and helped grow your audience. If you record one more 3P, compile it with the rest, master all of the 3Ps together and you’ll have yourself a full-length album.
We understand that this is a new idea for many artists and it can be a lot of work, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to embrace the whole model from the start. Writing, recording and releasing two 3P’s could be what your situation requires this year. Or releasing one 3P can be enough to energize a band into finding more momentum.
In addition, after some experience with studios you may find that it’s better to record your entire album first and only RELEASE it in 3P format. Whatever the case, the modes of digesting music have changed significantly in the last 15 years and so should your output.
You have a few choices when it comes to digitally distributing your 3P. Most bands will choose to place their music with an online aggregator like CD Baby or TuneCore. These companies can put your music into iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Rdio and others that you choose. Typically you pay either an up front fee or your digital distributor takes a percentage from any sales for your music.
• Albums aren’t essential to make new fans.
• The 3P is a new world answer to breaking bands.
• Three or four new songs every three or four months.
• The 3P is easier for your fans to digest and easier for you to put out.