What It’s Like to Release Music Today

Anne Autumn Erickson and Upon Wings on Spotify. I'm a vocalist and songwriter, both in my band Upon Wings and as a solo artist, so I know what it's like to release music today.
Anne Autumn Erickson and Upon Wings on Spotify – Here’s what it’s like to release music today

I’ve been writing and releasing music since around 2012, and it’s wild to think that I’ve been doing it for over a decade. Where did the time go? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s so different releasing music today verses when I first started out. Here’s what it’s like to release music today, in the streaming era.

A Wild Ride: What It’s Like to Release Music Today

When I released my first song in 2012, things were so different in the music world. Streaming was around, but it was nowhere near the level it is today. I remember that I wrote and recorded a song called “The Dream,” and I wasn’t even going to release it. I didn’t think it was quite the rock vibe I was going for with my music, plus I was kind of shy to release it. But, something happened in my life that I’m not going to share here, but it convinced me to release my music.

I released “The Dream” in 2012. It was my debut single with my band, Upon Wings. I still have some listeners that discovered my music with that song, so it was totally worth it. I worked hard to get some write-ups on the song, and it got on sites such as Blabbermouth.net and the Infernal Masquerade Webzine. I also released a music video that was totally homemade, and people actually watched and liked it. It was so thrilling to get press and actually have people hear my music.

Next, I worked with Brett Hestla of Dark New Day and Creed on my second single, “Afterlife,” which had a much more rocked-out sound. It was part of my “Afterlife” EP, which I released in 2013. “Afterlife” was huge for Upon Wings. It got added to SiriusXM Octane’s playlist and was featured on Women Rock week. Octane also had it on their Big-Uns countdown. Hearing my music on the radio was a thrill I didn’t anticipate. I’m in radio, currently at the WRIF in Detroit, but hearing my song on the radio was a totally different experience.

Today, I still write, record and release music. It’s all about streaming now. Spotify, Amazon, Apple, Deezer and all the streaming services are a big part of what it’s like to release music today. So, it’s different. I’m happy that some of my songs, such as “Scars” and “Last Love”, have hit 25,000 Spotify streams. For streaming, my advice is to try to find as many Spotify curators who are open to submissions and send them your stuff. Don’t pay to be on a playlist. That’s against Spotify’s policies. I’ve never paid to be on a playlist, and maybe I’d have more streams if I did, but I stay legit. Also, YouTube is still huge. I still release music videos, but not for every song. I pick and choose the songs that I think would pair well with visuals.

So, that’s a bit of insight into what it’s like to release music today. Find and please follow my Anne Autumn Erickson Spotify page at this location and Apple page at this location. Find my Upon Wings Spotify page at this location and Apple page at this location. Find my music YouTube pages here and here.