If you’re wondering when is the best time to upload your music release, we’ve got the guide to find the right release drop for you.
So, you’ve got your new release ready to drop. Maybe it’s your debut album, or a fire new single. It’s finished, polished, and ready to launch to the world. But should you save it for a specific date?
In this article we’re going to navigate the slightly tricky issue of release dates, covering the best day of the week to drop and even the best season to make an impact in. So lets get into it so you can get your music uploaded and ready to drop for listeners on the perfect date.
Should you release music on New Music Fridays?
You’ve probably noticed that most music comes out on Fridays. It has for years now in most countries around the world. There are good reasons why artists and labels drop their new releases on Fridays.
In 2015, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) brought the world together for the very first global release day. With support from around the world, Friday has since been established as the recognised release day for industries all over the world.
Before then, most countries generally released music on different days. For example, the UK dropped on Monday whilst the US released new tunes on Tuesdays. This was bad for piracy, as the UK would upload leaks for the US and other territories where music hadn’t released yet. A global release day also helped artists and labels to arrange their marketing campaigns across different countries.
Why it’s worth uploading music on a Friday
Music streaming services are abuzz with excitement on a Friday. As that’s the day that most new music drops every week, platforms play to that to get listeners ears on the new releases.
Spotify for example offers a personalised Release Radar, bringing together a selection of fresh tracks based on their tastes. They also provide a massive New Music Friday section, highlighting new releases across all sorts of genres. Fridays are a big event.
Now that Fridays are an established release day, Billboard tracks data from Friday to Thursday for their charts. This means that you can maximise your chart position by releasing on a Friday and giving yourself 7 days of plays to move up the list.
So it’s great for your performance, but it’s also a good time of the week. Friday is the end of the working week for most. Who doesn’t get fired up for their freedom with some great tunes. Then there’s the whole weekend to listen, whether chilling at home, doing some chores, driving somewhere nice, or throwing a party.
So Fridays are a top choice for release date for various reasons. That doesn’t mean you are limited to Fridays though.
Releasing on a different day of the week can help set you apart from all the other new tunes, giving fans a few days where only your release is what’s keeping their speakers fresh.
For example, one of my favourite artists dropped the first single of their long awaited album suddenly on a Wednesday recently. It was so unexpected as I’m used to seeing music release on Fridays, but it meant that for two days I was focused purely on streaming that track on repeat before anything else took my attention.
Consider your audience, your online presence, and your goals for your new release.
What time of day should I release my music?
You should release your music in the mornings, early. You want fans and new listeners to discover it through their day. Whether they’re an early riser checking Spotify at 8am, or returning from work looking for tunes at 8pm – make it available.
Releasing early in the day allows you to promote your song throughout the day. You’ll have your links to share from the moment you wake up and can post them all over socials.
Are specific months better to release in?
There is no simple answer to this, so let’s explore the complex one. For a start, it depends on what kind of music you’re releasing. If you’re a folk artist or a metal artist, then your music is relevant with fans the year around.
However, if you’re a dance music producer then the Summer months may treat you well. As everyone’s out partying and finding the right soundtracks for the beach between May and September, it’s a good time to release high-energy, positive music.
Of course, if you’re releasing a Christmas single then you know roughly when you should be dropping your track. Alternatively, if you’re not releasing a Christmas themed song then December’s not a great month. People are hibernating or busy with festivities. Playlists are filled with classic festive hits. It’s hard to stand out.
The end of the year is also when critics are considering year-end lists, so they’re looking back at the releases from the year and less-focused on what’s coming out at the time.
September and October can be a good season as the return to work fuels commuting playlists, headphones go back on in the office, and critics and publications are back to work after a summer of fun.
Is there a best time of the month? Eh, not really. Even with the months themselves, this is a general guide but by no means a rule. It depends on your type of music and your fanbase. Even then, dance hits have been moulded in the winter all the same.
Let fans save your music in advance with Pre-Saves
Pre-Saves are like pre-orders for music streaming platforms. They allow listeners to save music into their library before release day, so that they don’t miss a thing.
Our friends at PUSH.fm allow you to create a Pre-Save for your upcoming release for free. Once your music is uploaded to the stores and ready for the big day: Set up your Pre-Save and share the custom page you create on PUSH.fm with fans everywhere to build traction before your music is even out.
Upload in advance to pitch to playlists
Once you’ve decided on a release date, you always want to make sure that you upload your music as far in advance as possible. For uploading through RouteNote, it allows us time to bring up any mistakes in your release if there are any and gives time for the stores to receive it.
Once your music is with them then you can pitch your tracks to editors to go on service’s top playlists. This means you want to get your music on platforms like Spotify as soon before your release date as possible to allow time for editors to listen and add your music. Pitching a month before release date is perfect.
How you pitch is different for each service. With Spotify you can pitch via Spotify for Artists. Likewise for Amazon Music, you want to head to Amazon for Music Artists. Check out our advice on how to pitch to playlists in the video below.
At RouteNote, we curate our very own playlists highlighting the best of independent music coming through our doors every week. Find out how to feature on those here.
Conclusion for when to release your music
Whenever you decide for release day, it’s always best to choose a date as far in advance as possible, ideally about a month. This allows you to ensure that your release will be there to go live on that date and that you have the right amount of time to focus on promotion.
Whilst the time of year that you drop isn’t crucial (don’t wait until next September if you’ve got a new track to drop in November) you can consider whether people are gonna vibe with your tracks more in a particular season. Be careful of busy periods, particularly Christmas time.
New Music Fridays are the hottest release day for a reason, but if you’re not worried about your charting position then you can stand out by going live on a different day of the week.
Think about who your fans are and what they’ll want. That will lead you in the right direction.
When looking to release your music, choose RouteNote for free distribution to the top stores and streaming services around the world. We work with Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, TIDAL, and many more to get your music heard.
You can choose the exact release date you want to upload your music on. Schedule it in advance to go live on that date exactly. You can even choose the exact time of day your music should be available to listeners.