How To Maximize Your Back Catalog While Working on New Releases

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By Randi Zimmerman

This article originally appeared on the Symphonic Blog

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Once you’ve released that new album, song or collab, the hard work doesn’t end there. Did you know there are things you can do with your back catalog to keep the momentum going behind the scenes? 

Here are some key ways to maximize your back catalog while working on new releases…

How to Maximize Your Back Catalog While Working on New Releases

Although most of the attention in music is on new releases, the success of your back catalog is paramount to succeeding as a business long term and has significant value waiting to be unlocked…

Revisit Your Branding

The first thing you can do is take an honest look at your current branding and analyze what could be done better. Your branding is an extension of you; think about what it represents. Take the time to revisit who your target is meant to be and how you want to be perceived. Then, make changes to realign your efforts.

Think about it… What do you stand for? Why is your branding the way it is? Does your theme accurately represent you? Is the color scheme for your branding enough to show people what you’re all about and grab the attention of new fans? Does your branding need a complete overhaul or just some simple tweaks?

Take an extra look at what could use a little sprucing up, and see what can easily be changed. Make sure your branding truly expresses who you are. Even just updating your logo to better fit your style could be what draws in more fans in the long run.

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Optimize Your Digital Platforms

Your social presence should be in tip-top shape at all times! If you haven’t already, you need to make sure you’ve done these things:

Sync & Brand Partnerships

Streaming royalties are only one of the many avenues of income and methods of exposure available to musicians. Sync licensing is not only a great way to earn significant money as an artist, it will spread your music to audiences all over the world.

Offer Physical Options

Physical distribution is still an important part of artist and label development. Think about offering physical vinyl or CDs of your old music. With the huge resurgence of vinyl making waves all over the world, fans everywhere are eager to get their hands on a physical product from their favorite artists.

Not to mention, not everyone drives a fancy new car with a working radio or access to Spotify… CDs are still going strong all over the world, and the market for them is still a viable resource for exposure.

  • Do you have an album that got a lot of attention in the past? Give it a makeover and repress it with new packaging. Offer a limited run with different covers, limited edition art, etc. to breathe life into legacy content and give it additional value.

On Symphonic, you can apply for the physical distribution of vinyl LPs, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, and cassettes to over 3,000 retail outlets. There’s nothing quite like holding a physical copy of your favorite album or queueing up a record on a lazy afternoon.

Pro Tip: Try offering bundles of merchandise at your shows instead of solely individual items. Come up with a deal for “vinyl + sticker + t-shirt” bundle to influence fans to buy your products that way and increase sales.

Anniversary Tours / Shows

Touch the hearts of the fans who miss you the most by announcing a show where you play all your past hits. Let’s face it, nostalgia sells. If you can pull on the heartstrings of your audience by giving them a nostalgic anniversary tour, they’ll be sure to buy tickets, merch, vinyl, CDs and whatever else you have to offer.

True fans will cherish the experience and want to remember it forever (and tell all their friends about it).

+ For tips, strategies, and resources to help you get on tour faster and smarter, check out Soundfly’s popular free course, Touring on a Shoestring

Music Videos

If you’re busy working on new music, it’s a great idea to support and uplift your previous releases during this time. Releasing a music video for a past song could be a great way to shine a light on legacy content while still releasing something “new” that doesn’t quite require as much dedication as an entire album.

Pitch to Playlists

It’s never a bad time to try and get your music featured on Spotify playlists. That being said, getting yourself featured on a playlist with a large following can facilitate a whole new level of growth for you and your featured track(s).

Check out Symphonic’s Spotify playlists and submit your music to be featured and shared among their extensive audience. They will review, consider, and potentially add your track to the playlist of your choice. Once added, make sure to share the news on your social media networks and encourage friends and fans to follow the playlist. The more followers, streams, and activity we get for the playlists, the better the odds of it ranking higher within the Spotify algorithm — consequently, increasing your exposure along with it.

In Conclusion…

Your back catalog is an amazing resource just waiting to be utilized. You didn’t create all those songs and albums to forget about them and not share them with the world! By optimizing the way you maximize your efforts in your downtime, you can create a consistent strategy to keep your audience engaged no matter what you’re working on.

Don’t stop here!

Continue learning with hundreds of lessons on songwriting, mixing, DIY home recording and production, composing, beat making, and so much more in Soundfly’s courses with artists like RJD2, Ryan Lott, Kiefer, and Jlin: Rhythm, Variation, & Vulnerability.

Randi Zimmerman is a Content Writing Ninja & Music Addict @symphonicdistro

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