THE ARTIST: Brooke Annibale (Pittsburgh, PA)
THE QUESTION: How do you feel about singles being released before the entire album…like a teaser?

THE ANSWER: I’m especially interested in what readers have to say on this one. Have you done this? Has it worked for you or backfired? How far in advance did you release the single? Here are some considerations.

Great idea! Could build anticipation.
This could be a very good thing.  People love sneak peaks and will most likely become more excited for your release if they get a taste for it. It’s like seeing the movie trailer before the movie. You don’t get the whole thing but you do get an idea of what’s to come.

What if they don’t like the song and decide not to buy the cd?
Just like with movie trailers, people will judge whats to come based on what they’ve already witness. If folks don’t like a trailer, there’s a very high chance they won’t go out of their way to watch the movie. 

Is the single FREE or not?
So lets say you’ve decided to put out a single after all. Are you giving it away or just selling it early? I personally think its always a good idea to give away your “best song” because you want to put your best foot forward and make listeners interested enough to come back for more. Why FREE? Because word of mouth is a powerful thing! Your song will travel further – much further- and that’s more people you can tell about your album release.  Use whatever platform you like, but check out Bandcamp. My friend collected a few hundred new emails the week before his CD release simply by giving folks a FREE song in exchange. I’m willing to bet that some of those people bought the full album.

What’s your time frame?
Don’t put out the single too far in advance.  Don’t give fans a song 2 months ahead of time. Even a month can sometimes leave too much space…unless you’re being played on a radio station every day leading up to the album’s release.  Trying offering the download 1 or 2 weeks in advance. The hype that a single creates will directly help promotion of your album release if they piggyback on each other.

What About a Live Stream?
How about streaming the album just for 1 full day. You could do this in addition to releasing the single….or instead of. It would give folks a limited full listen to the album and really help to build hype. It seems like more and more bands are starting to do this. Your site might crash though. :)

FYI: these are all just opinions. I’m not expert. So if you have some opinions too, lay ’em out!