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The Ultimate Music Release Checklist (for 2023)

By Matthew Vultaggio

March 20, 2023

The process of releasing music has drastically changed over the years with the rise of digital music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.

In this article, we will explore a music release checklist that focuses on the 7 critical steps for properly releasing your music in 2023:

  1. Submitting your song to a music distributor
  2. Pitching your song to Spotify editors
  3. Preparing video assets like social posts and ads
  4. Preparing your website or music link
  5. Scheduling Facebook ads
  6. Scheduling social media posts
  7. Monitoring, engaging and analyzing your release’s performance

This checklist is based on what I’ve personally learned releasing over 50 songs and getting over 5.9 million streams on Spotify:

A screenshot of my Spotify streams as of March 10, 2023

Let’s take a look at these 7 steps in more detail so you can be releasing your music in the best way possible for 2023.

P.S. If you’d like to follow along with the simple (and 100% free) 7-step checklist that I’ve used to get those results, click here to download it right now.

Step 1: Submitting your song to a music distributor

The first step in releasing music is to submit the song to a music distributor so that they can distribute your music to a variety of digital music stores and streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

I always aim to submit my new release to my music distributor at least 4 weeks before release day. This gives me plenty of time to correct any mistakes and make sure that it shows up in Spotify’s system in time for me to get my pitch in on time.

For instructions/tips on how to make sure your release gets sent to Spotify as quickly as possible check out this article I wrote.

I personally use and recommend DistroKid, you can learn about them and how they compare to the main distributors, as well as check out my How To Choose A Music Distributor Guide in my DistroKid Review if you are not set up yet.

Step 2: Pitching your song to Spotify editors

The second step is to pitch the song to the Spotify editors. The music industry has seen a significant shift in recent years as music streaming services have gained popularity.

Getting your music featured on popular playlists can help increase your visibility and potentially lead to more streams and revenue.

I always aim to pitch my song to the Spotify editors at least 1 week before release day but the further in advance you can do this, the better.

To learn how to pitch to the editors and what tips you should follow to increase your chances of getting playlisted, check out this article on Spotify Editorial Playlist Submissions.

Step 3: Preparing video assets like social posts and ads

The third step is to prepare video assets. Videos are a powerful tool for promoting music and can be used to create engaging visual content for your audience.

In particular, the 2 main types of video assets that I create are social posts and ads.

For social posts, I will usually create a simple teaser video, as well as multiple record-spinning animation videos using different sections of the song.

For ads, I’ll do the same thing as the record-spinning animation videos above but have them in Story dimensions and include some additional information like the song name, artist name, a listen on Spotify call-to-action, and a swipe up call-to-action.

If you’d like to use free templates that I’ve created for you, click here to download my free Spotify growth template pack. 🙂

Step 4: Preparing your website or music link

The fourth step is to prepare a website and music link. In addition to distributing music through online platforms, it is important to have a centralized hub where fans can find information about the artist and their music.

I always send my ads and link in bio to my own custom website so that I have control over the visual experience and can track user engagement for retargeting and advanced Facebook audience building.

Before each release, I will use one of my templates and update it to show the new release’s artwork and title.

For a free step-by-step course on how to get started with this, check out my free course on How To Get More Streams With Custom Smart Links (+ Free Templates). 😎

Step 5: Scheduling Facebook ads

Facebook and Instagram Ads are the number 1 way I’ve been able to send targeted listeners over to my Spotify profile to tickle the algorithm and massively grow my streams.

After my website and videos are all prepared, I will drop them into the Facebook ads manager and schedule ads to start running on release day.

The main audiences that I run ads to are my retargeting audiences (website visitors, people who have engaged with my Instagram or Facebook, and people who have watched at least 50% of any of my previous ads or videos) as well as Lookalike audiences based on the previously mentioned audiences.

I usually aim to run ads for the first 1 – 3 weeks of the song’s release.

If you are new to Facebook Ads, check out my free Beginner’s Guide To Facebook Ads For Spotify Success to learn how to get set up and run your first Spotify conversion ad.

Step 6: Scheduling social media posts

Scheduling social media posts can help ensure a consistent and engaging presence leading up to and after the music release – even though I absolutely do not like posting to social media!

So, what I do is use the Facebook Creator Studio to schedule out all of my posts for the release so that I don’t have to worry about posting things on a daily basis.

To learn more about how you can do this and for a complete (and free) guide on Social Media For Musicians, click right here. 😇

Step 7: Monitoring, engaging and analyzing your release’s performance

From reviewing the previous steps, it’s probably pretty clear that 95% of the work is all in the lead up to release day.

However, it is important to track the success of the music release and engage with fans and industry professionals.

Monitoring social media and streaming platforms can provide insights into the success of the release and potential areas for improvement.

Engaging with fans can help build a dedicated audience and increase support for future releases.

Analyzing data from streaming platforms and social media can provide valuable information for future marketing efforts.

Now It’s Your Turn

Releasing music requires careful planning and execution. A comprehensive checklist can help guide artists through the process from submitting the music to a distributor all the way to monitoring, engaging, and analyzing the success of the release.

By following these steps, independent musicians like you and I can increase our visibility and build a dedicated audience for our music. 🙂

P.S. If you’d like to follow along with the simple (and 100% free) 7-step checklist that I’ve used to get those results, click here to download it right now.

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Click here to see a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 5,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist (called Best Friends Club).

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission. 🤗

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

"Copy/Paste" Your Music Promotion with The FREE Checklist I Used To Get 3,000,000+ Spotify Streams

Get your 7-step checklist for FREE: