What are exclusive releases and why are they controversial? The realm of music production is rapidly changing from a mixture of digital and physical records to an increasingly digital format. Release formats also come in two varieties – exclusive releases and open access. But does either of these options benefit artists more than the other? It’s time to explore the pros and cons of exclusive releases in music.
1. Benefits of Exclusive Releases for Artists
Many artists have much to gain from releasing an exclusive track or album as part of their musical portfolio. Here are some of the primary benefits of this approach:
- Increased liner notes: An exclusive release will come with all the accompanying liner notes that can’t be provided in a general release; for example, mistakes made, secrets shared amongst musicians and friends, and other pieces of information that turned the creation of the track into something special.
- Better exposure: When you select a specific set of people that you want to share your piece of music with, they’re more likely to interact with it, promoting the track more widely. This could lead to more downloads, companion pieces, featured reviews and high ratings.
- Increased price: Exclusive releases could come with premium prices attached, making them more attractive to would-be buyers.
Furthermore, an exclusive release has the power to create an even greater hype and demand than a general one. It’s easier to monitor the progress of the track when it’s exclusive to one or two locations, making it easier for the artist to see who’s listening to it, who’s sharing it and where it’s gaining the most traction.
2. Disadvantages of Exclusive Releases for Artists
The biggest limitation of exclusive releases for artists is the restricted access they provide. Since the music is only available for purchase on one platform, fans have to purchase it on that platform, or wait for the music to be available elsewhere. This poses a major inconvenience to fans who are only accustomed to using other digital platforms, or those who do not have easy access to the exclusive release platform.
Missing the Benefits of Multiple Platform Promotions
When music is released exclusively on one platform, the artist misses out on the potential promotional benefits of releasing the music in multiple platforms. Multiple platform releases can provide the artist with wider reach and provide fans with more options for listening to the music. Not only that, but multiple platform releases act as a safety net for the artist, if one platform fails to market the music properly.
3. Strategies to Maximize the Potential of Exclusive Releases
Exclusive releases are a great way to stand out from the crowd and generate buzz for your brand or product. But how can you maximize their potential?
Optimizing exclusive releases entails extra work and several strategies. Here are some tips on how to elevate your exclusive releases:
- Incentivize exclusives with discounts or other promotional offers.
- Stress the limited availability: creating scarcity increases demand.
- Create compelling visuals and illustrations that are sure to draw attention.
- Send exclusive product samples to influencers and publications.
- Schedule influencer campaigns delivering constant exposure.
- Link exclusive editions to contests or giveaways, amping up the engagement.
Exclusive releases also represent an opportunity to stand out in the overcrowded market. Differentiating your product design and packaging can make all the difference. Custom packaging or special graphics can give more value to the exclusive products. Alternatively, offering gift sets, extra content or even customer service for exclusive editions can make your product even more desirable.
As much as artists desire the exclusive streaming options available today, they would be wise to weigh the pros and cons before signing any agreements. Clear communication, knowledge of the industry, and sound business decisions can all help create the right opportunities for success.