The holiday season is coming up fast, and musicians all over the world are planning their holiday strategies accordingly. Want to make the most out of this holiday season? We’ve got you covered! Here’s everything you should be doing this holiday season to prep…
7 Ways Musicians Should Prepare For The Holidays
Promote Like Crazy
The holiday season is one of the biggest times for buying music. From CD’s and vinyl to posters and merch, consumers all over the world are looking for the perfect gifts for their music loving friends and family.
During this time, you should be promoting whatever you have out as much as possible. BUT that doesn’t mean to blast the same shit on every platform… There are lots of creative ways to promote during the holidays. For example, try things like:
- Remind your fans of how your latest album on vinyl would make a perfect stocking stuffer.
- Post pictures of you wearing your coziest merch by the fire with a link to your merch store.
- Give a gift of your own by offering sale prices on your merch for a limited time.
These are just a couple ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Think about what you’d like to see from your favorite artist, and make it your own.
Brainstorm Holiday Themed Content
Do you plan on releasing an entire holiday album? Or maybe one holiday single? Whatever you decide to do, consider creating something exclusive for it. This could mean anything, but here are some examples to consider:
- Livestream a different holiday cover every week leading up to the holiday of your choosing.
- Create exclusive holiday merch.
- Try a themed contest on socials where the winners get exclusive access to your upcoming holiday single before anyone else.
- Do a merch giveaway.
- Do holiday themed collabs with other artists.
Interested in offering something exclusive for your fans? This post offers 6 ideas for exclusive content that any artist can try right now.
Release A Holiday Cover Song
With all the holiday music out in the world, it may seem almost impossible to create an original hit that will blow the socks off the masses. Luckily for you, there are tons of songs in the public domain that you can cover for free without fear of musical prosecution. Not to mention, the holidays are all about blasting your holiday guilty pleasures when it comes to music. Releasing holidays songs of your own is a great way to get in on the action at this time of year.
Music that is in the public domain isn’t restricted by copyright and doesn’t require licenses and fees to use. This gives you unlimited creativity to mash whatever you want into your new holiday masterpiece. We actually did a post that covers 30+ songs in the public domain you can cover for free right now. (Check that out right here.)
Alternatively, Songfile is another great option that lets you license cover songs for physical and digital formats such as CDs, downloads, ringtones and streams.
🧠 Feed your brain…
Create a Holiday Playlist
Help get the holiday spirit started with your own holiday playlist! Personally, I am the designated playlist curator for my friends and family. No matter the occasion, they know I’ve got something cooking… Your fans are the same. Getting a personally curated playlist from you is a great way to show you’re thinking of them and give back.
Keep in mind, dinner party ambiance, cooking music, mellow holiday vibes and festive holiday jams tend to perform the best during the holiday season. Once you’ve created the perfect playlist, share the link on Instagram Stories, Twitter, Facebook groups or really anywhere and everywhere you connect the most with your audience.
To step it up a notch, you could even work on a collaborative playlist with another artist and release that to expand your reach even further. Never made a collaborative playlist before? Check out, “How To Make Collaborative Playlists On Spotify and Apple Music” to get started.
The holiday season is the best time to get involved with your community. Spirits are high, and ticket sales are even higher. Whether a venue is in need of a live performance or a just a great holiday playlist, there are many ways you can participate in your local activities. The best way to find out what’s needed is to reach out to local bars/venues and hit up your city’s Facebook groups to see what’s going on and how you can get involved.
🚨 Be Aware of Holiday Deadlines 🚨
The music industry is filled with people just like you who like to spend time with their families and get a second to sit back and drink hot chocolate by the fire. Not only that, major streaming platforms take holiday breaks, too. Towards the end of the year, everything starts to slow down. Regardless of if you work with an independent distributor or not, never wait until the very last minute to try and release that holiday single… It never goes smoothly.
When it comes to Symphonic, our team approves releases on a daily basis, Monday through Friday. Each release is carefully reviewed, inspected, and screened to ensure that it meets guidelines for distribution to the partners that we deliver to.
- We generally approve all releases within 2-3 business days, but that doesn’t include holidays or weekends.
- Not only are we closed for Thanksgiving, our offices are also closed for a Holiday Break from December 23rd through January 1st.
- And those aren’t the only days we’re out of office… To make sure you aren’t blind sided at the end of the year, we have a post with all the deadlines to keep in mind. Be sure to check that out here: 2023 Holiday Hours and Content Cut Off Reminders
Be vocal with your team about what you’re planning to release and when you want it done. Just because you decide to do things last minute doesn’t mean your peers will be willing to.
With the new year right around the corner, it’s time to start planning ahead. The end of the year is a good time to assess the past year and analyze what has worked and what hasn’t. Use this information to adapt moving forward.
Look into which platforms have garnered the most engagement, what types of posts did the best, where your audience has expanded because of these efforts, and more from tools like Google Analytics, Instagram Stories Analytics, etc. If you’re a Symphonic client, you have access to tons of great analytics for TikTok, YouTube, and more. Take advantage of them!
Knowing where you stand and where you have room to grow is the key to excelling in this industry. To help you truly understand your stats and streamline your efforts, check these out:
- How to Choose the Perfect Music Analytics Tool
- Best Analytics Tools for Audience Development
- Best Streaming and Sales Analytics for Music Managers and Record Labels
From November to December, industry folks tend to travel and be out of the office more frequently, the major labels’ biggest artists tend to release in the 4th quarter to take advantage of the holiday retail spike and artists of all genres are releasing holiday music and content.
Of course, if you have a New Year/Christmas/Holiday song, now is a great time to release it. Although the market is heavily saturated with music at this time, there are many other things you can do to keep your momentum going strong throughout this season. With these tips, you’re on the right track!
Before you go…
Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? If you’ve got a musician on your list that you can’t quite find the perfect gift for, we’ve got you covered. We compiled a list of 11 unique gifts any musician (or human in general) is sure to love. Check that out right here.