As the we settle into the music release season again, we thought it great to share why we're (still) fans of single, EP and album roll outs.
Fisrtly, rollouts are a delicate balance between commerce & art. Their aim is to market a product, while allowing artists to curate a context for their art. They provide an opportunity for artists to separate their new work from past offerings and distinguish themselves in a saturated space. Music isn't just competing with other music and is instead vying for people's attention and time. Roll outs assist in capturing our collective imaginations and building anticipation; so fans commit to carving out some time when the music eventually drops.
The reason for both pre- and post-release roll out strategies is because that engagement has to be maintained after the initial release. Engagement is the keyword here as some listener's are passive followers and need to be converted into supporters. Social followings are kinda misleading because artists are multi-faceted and offer people different things. Some followers may love an artist's fashion sense, humor or messy timeline and not necessarily their sound. They need to be brought into the fold.
Apart from these existing followers, there is always another fan to gain - a new pair of ears to capture. There's an addressable market out there whose attention and time is currently being spent elsewhere. Coca-Cola is everywhere but they never stop marketing! And like all great marketing campaigns; roll outs aren't detached from the art and directly contribute to the story an artist is telling. A good roll out triggers something, taps into another and immerses the audience in an evolving process.
That inclusion is key for an artist cause it re-ignites their connection with fans. There's something about witnessing a great roll out as part of a fandom that's unmatched. That's perhaps the most important function of rollouts - stirring up a sense of community around the art. Whether it's strategically dropping music, behind the scenes footage, music video drops, television perfomances or appearances on the podcast circuit; we love roll outs because they tell us what artists are thinking and how they're feeling. Roll outs are more than just reminders about imminent music - they keep us fans invested in the relationship!