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Album vs EP in 2023: Crafting a Music Release Strategy for the Modern Listener

Album vs EP in 2023: Crafting a Music Release Strategy for the Modern Listener
Album vs EP in 2023: Crafting a Music Release Strategy for the Modern Listener

In the ever-changing landscape of music, the choice between releasing an Album or an EP can be a pivotal decision for artists. Understanding the dynamics of the modern listener's behavior is key to crafting a successful release strategy. Whether you're an emerging artist or a seasoned veteran, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the complex world of music releases in 2023.

1. Understanding Your Audience

The modern listener falls into three main categories:

  • Explorers: Those seeking new music.

  • Intrigued Listeners: Your core community of fans.

  • Superfans: Loyal followers who consume everything you release.

Your release strategy should target these personas at different stages of your music career.

2. The Formats: Album vs EP

  • Album (LP): A full-length collection, akin to a novel, with 7 to 20 songs.

  • EP (Extended Play): A shorter collection of 4 to 6 songs, like a collection of short stories.

3. Start with an EP

  • Appeals to Online Explorers: With on-demand streaming dominating since 2017, explorers prefer an EP over an LP.

  • Playlist Consumption: Modern listeners often cherry-pick songs from albums for playlists. An EP aligns with this behavior.

  • Investment Benefits: An EP requires less time and money, making it a safe option to test the waters.

4. Follow with an Album

  • Meeting Expectations: Superfans often desire the full "album experience."

  • Credibility Boost: An album enhances your presence on streaming platforms and among industry professionals.

5. Release EPs in Between Albums

  • Satisfying Demand: Keep your audience engaged with EPs while working on albums.

  • Experimentation: An EP allows you to explore new styles or genres.

6. Adapting to Trends

  • Streaming Growth: Platforms like Spotify have seen significant growth, with over 80 million songs live.

  • Changing Habits: The collective attention span is short, and instant gratification is key.

7. Tying it Up

Launch, convert, satisfy, broaden, and maintain. Your strategy should be a cycle of new EPs, new albums, and constant engagement with your audience.


The decision between an Album and an EP is more than just a choice of format; it's a strategic move that can shape your music career. By understanding your audience and adapting to the modern-day listener's behaviors, you can craft a release strategy that resonates in 2023 and beyond.

Ready to elevate your music career? Get your free in-depth guide to everything you need to know about having a successful career in music at Music Advice's Free Modern Artist & Songwriter Toolkit. For additional music career resources, industry contacts, video lessons, and streaming playlist contact information, visit Music Advice's Plans & Pricing.

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Maurice Butler
Maurice Butler
Aug 28, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great advise. It’s like we talked about yesterday. We as artist need to know what we are trying to accomplish. This will determine our strategy.

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