Album Or EP? How To Decide What To Release Next

In a musical landscape dominated by singles and playlists, some bands might be tempted to forgo making albums and EPs altogether and just release single after single instead, but bands continue to release multiple songs together all at once because it’s the best way of making an impactful, sweeping artistic statement. But choosing whether to release an EP or album isn’t always a simple decision.

Define your goals

Lots of artists set out to release music without ever asking themselves what their goals are, and this makes making big decisions difficult. Having a good idea about what you hope to get out of releasing music can help you decide whether to put out an album or EP. For example, if you’re a completely new band interested in finding a label, devoting your efforts to putting out an EP of your best songs is probably a good idea. But if you’re an established band who hasn’t released music in years, going with a full-length album could be the best bet for you.

But sometimes even if you’ve defined your goals, knowing whether to go with an EP vs album isn’t always so clear cut because there’s big benefits and drawbacks to both.

Albums vs EPs

EPs are great snapshots of the sort of music your band is making in the moment. And because they’re shorter than albums, they’re less expensive to make. But a snapshot can’t convey the grand, sprawling ideas that albums can. When fans think about their favorite artists, they usually think of the albums they make, not their EPs. It takes far more money, time, and emotional investment to create an album, but you’ll get way more mileage out of one than you could from an EP.

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Some bands are better off going with EPs because the shorter format gives them the freedom to release more songs in a short period of time. And because albums are typically cohesive in nature, EPs give artists the chance to make their songs sound any way they want. In short, albums require huge commitments that give big potential benefits, while EPs are more noncommittal, easier to release and able to give artists more opportunities to try new things.

So, what’s the best choice for you? That completely depends on you and your unique situation, but if you’re project has the tendency to overthink things and go years between releases, putting out a couple of EPs is a great way to capture the urgency of your creativity now by putting out just a few songs at a time rather than focusing on working on a big album. Our collective attention span seems to get shorter and shorter, and waiting too long to put out music can be detrimental to some bands. In light of this, the EP could become a much more popular way for bands to share music with their fans.

DaveAlbum Or EP? How To Decide What To Release Next


Join the conversation
  • Zakk Styles - December 14, 2017 reply

    Our plan is to release an EP each year with 5 or 6 songs on each album as to keep in the face of your fans. We believe that waiting to long (a year or two) making an album can lead to some fans forgetting about you. You have to stay current and out there. If you wanna check us out go here:

    Marvin Sheats - March 22, 2018 reply

    That’s a great idea Zakk. We are in the process of recording our first CD and kind of rethinking an EP with 6 songs right now and save the other 4 to add to our second EP.

  • Kasilo Choka DJ Elixir - December 16, 2017 reply

    Very good information… I appreciate the way you put things into perspective.

  • Wale Baggis - February 7, 2018 reply

    A timely write up. Thanks

  • Andrae Palmer - March 8, 2018 reply

    Sometimes an Ep can get the ball rolling and kick start an artist career. I remember I released an ep for a friend did a launch and everything and it helped kick started his career and he started getting gigs to perform. Lots of things to think about great article

    Marvin Sheats - March 22, 2018 reply

    Awesome Andrae… That is great to know.

  • chidike4real - March 8, 2018 reply

    i am happy to get some vital information from u guys, thanks a lot

  • Manuela - September 7, 2018 reply

    A friend of mine already released an album in 2015. Took him 7 years. Now he’s actually working on a new one. Well, it’s expensive and time consuming. Now he asked what if he does an EP instead? Could be released much sooner. But he thinks people could feel cheated
    What would you think? He’s not famous.

  • Ari - January 1, 2019 reply

    Can artists include songs from an ep on their future album ?

  • FLOWLEANTRAPS - January 9, 2019 reply

    An EP is great if you’re new in the game so I go with an EP.

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