Pre-Orders & Pre-Saves in Perfect Harmony

We’ve written all about best practices for releasing albums in 2019. The most successful album releases on the Single platform have included unique product offerings and various tier pre-order bundles. When you attach digital music to product bundles, fans automatically receive download links via email on release day.

Hoodie Allen product bundle

Hoodie Allen product bundle

But we’re no strangers to how music consumption models have changed. Album pre-orders & product bundles are an effective way to break onto the charts - but that doesn’t entirely reflect the listening patterns of fans in 2019. While many fans enjoy the lossless audio files delivered by Single, others will simply choose to listen on their preferred streaming service.

¿Por qué no los dos?

By combining an album pre-order and pre-save campaign, you’re effectively getting the best of both worlds. Artists earn charting albums through the sale of music + merch bundles, but also set up lasting success by ensuring their music is saved in fan libraries on platforms that they use every day.

So how does this work?

We’ve recently launched a new service - BoostLinks - which gives shop owners the ability to “attach” pre-saves, follows, and subscribes with items in their shop.

Artists start by creating a custom landing page with smart-links to interact with their channels. These smart-link pages can be attached to physical items in the shop. When a customer completes a purchase with a BoostLink attached, they are immediately delivered this set of links via email - as in the example below.

In the case of a pre-order with instant grats / cascading track releases - fans will automatically receive a download email when each new track is released. When BoostLinks are attached, each email turns into a marketing opportunity. Let’s say an album has four pre-release singles leading up to the album release - that means there are four chances to invite fans to pre-save the record.

BoostLink email from  Hoodie Allen  pre-save campaign

BoostLink email from Hoodie Allen pre-save campaign

What’s so important about pre-saves?

Landing on a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music has become an absolute must for up-and-coming artists. Being featured is the goal, but it is unclear exactly how to accomplish it - especially when it comes to algorithmically generated playlists. On Spotify, you must submit your music to be featured - but after you do, pre-saves, saves, plays, likes, and follows all add to your likelihood of landing on a playlist.

So, if you’re running a pre-order campaign, why wouldn’t you want to also direct fans to pre-save the album?

Recurring Revenue

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The idea of earning revenue every time a song is consumed is something new to the music industry. Before the 2000’s, fans purchased albums for ~$20. This is the lifetime value of that album for that particular consumer, regardless of how many times they actually listened to it. Compare that to today, where artists earn a small amount with every play. Therefore, it makes sense for artists to not just worry about first-week album sales (through pre-order bundles), but also to position their music on streaming services so they continue generating income during the months following release.

Analytics

BoostLinks change the game for artists because we’ve connected services that otherwise would be fragmented across the web. Through integrations with Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics, artists can see how fans interact with their various channels and marketing efforts. But this is just the start.

We’re building the framework to show the path of fans across platforms, through time. We want our artists to have access to data that shows not only how fans interact with channels, but what specifically lead them to take an action in the artist’s shop. Unifying data across platforms gives artists a never before seen look at how and why fans discovered them and what led those fans to dig deeper. The more artists know about how fans engage their content, the more meaningful those connections become.

BoostLink landing page from  Hoodie Allen  pre-save campaign

BoostLink landing page from Hoodie Allen pre-save campaign

Give it a try

BoostLinks will launch as a $15 / month subscription - for unlimited concurrent campaigns. We encourage you to build a couple, attach them to items in your shop and see how fans interact with your smart-links. Gauge success by measuring click-through rates, pre-save totals, and tangible growth on your channels.

Pre-order + Pre-save = The optimal Pre-release strategy of 2019

Pre-order campaigns are one of the best ways to build hype for an upcoming release. But why not also direct fans to pre-save at the same time? We believe that the future of album releases will include a combination of pre-order campaigns sold direct to fan, as well as a funnel to gather pre-saves. While these accomplish different goals, both contribute to a well rounded and impactful album release.

Don’t be shy. Maximize your album pre-sale and add pre-save functionality through BoostLinks.

Not using Single yet? Download our app in the Shopify App Store.

- The Single team