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What is an EP – And How To Get Yours On Spotify For Free!

July 23, 2021 • 5 min read
If you are an independent musician, it’s really important that you understand how to handle your own music distribution. You can write and record great music, but if you don’t know how to get your sound out there nobody is going to listen to it. Nowadays, with everybody listening to music online, distributing your music on the internet is a must. You need to upload your music to every major streaming service in order to stay relevant. Recording an EP is a great way to have concise and official work published, without being as demanding as recording a full album. 

What is an EP

An EP is basically a release not quite big enough to be a full album, but at the same time too big to be released as a single. Recording an EP is a great way for independent musicians to publish their work because it’s not as expensive and demanding as recording a full album. And you still get to record your music and create a concept to unify them in a single work. It can really help you portrait the vibe of your band and what you are aiming to do musically. These terms “single”, “EP” and “LP” date back to the analog days when you bought your music in vinyl format at the music stores. A single was a record that had only one song on each side. The A side would have the most important song, the “single”. The B side would have a bonus song or another version of it. The single would be typically released before the full album, in order to engage the public and create expectation for the LP.  The term EP stands for Extended Play Record, while LP actually stands for “Long Play”. 

What is an EP today

Nowadays, we still use the term EP, even though it’s not related to vinyl anymore. A release is considered an EP if it contains anything between 4 to 6 tracks. It also has to be less than 30 minutes long. That is true for both Spotify and iTunes. However, if you release 1 to 3 songs on iTunes, but one of the tracks is longer than 10 minutes, it’ll also be released as an EP. On both iTunes and Spotify your release is considered a single if it’s 1 - 3 songs and is less than 30 minutes with no songs longer than 10 minutes. To be released as a full album, your work needs to have more than 7 songs or be longer than 30 minutes.

How to write and release an EP

The first thing you need to do when starting the process of writing your EP is to actually plan your goals for your release, musically and professionally. How do you want to portrait yourself as a musician? You need to have a clear view of what you want to achieve as an artist. At this first step it’s also important to plan your budget ahead, so you can make sure that you’ll have enough money for the whole process.  Put everything on paper! Make an estimation of how many people you’re going to hire and how many hours you plan on spending at the studio. You should also consider how you are going to promote your EP. Will you do it yourself, or will you hire someone? The more thorough you can be at this point, the better! You’ll have less surprises to deal with up ahead. 

Setting a release date

After having an estimate of the money you’ll need, it’s time to decide on a release date and start working. Having a release date is important to help you stay focused on actually finishing your recording. It’ll also help you not to exceed your budget. So once you decide on the release date, make sure to share it with your fans. That will make it easier for you to meet your own deadline. After deciding on your release date, it’s time to start your recording! Remember to choose only your best songs to be a part of your EP. It’s better to have a shorter release with better songs, than fill it with not-so-great ones.

Distributing your work

When you’re done recording, mixing and mastering your tracks, it’s time to distribute your EP! In order to reach your audience, you’ll have to get your music on every major streaming platform. In addition to those, you can also upload it on services like Shazam Online. So it’s important that you stop asking yourself "how can I upload my song to Spotify?" and learn to do that in simple steps! Here you can also learn how amazon music for artists works if you want your music there!. This step may seem a bit tricky at first, but there are actually some services that can help you with that. If you choose to distribute your EP with Magroove, we will help you upload your music to all the major streaming service and digital store. Our partners include Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer , Shazam and many others. That means that we’ll upload your EP on all these platforms with no pre charges. Plus, you still get to keep 100% of your royalties and all the rights to your music. 

Promoting your release

After you distribute your EP on all the major streaming services, you also need to promote it. This step is of major importance, because even if you record and produce great music, you have to promote it properly for it to reach your fans. Make sure to use your social media accounts for that! It’s important to build up your social media presence prior to releasing your EP. So make sure to share the process of recording it and create expectations for your fans. It’s also very helpful to have your own website, with samples and content about your music. With Magroove, you’ll also have access to a website builder tool and customizable band merch to sell. Check more info on our deals and how to sign up by clicking here.
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