DEBATE: What the EP Revolution Means for DIY Distribution
When we first got into trouble for doubting the role of the album, we didn’t mean to dismiss it altogether, but we did want to convey that the EP is the future of business. Singles and EPs are vastly better for today’s industry for the following reasons: 1) They’re easier to make 2) They allow bands to produce more frequently over a year and therefore maintain consistency in the news cycle and remain in the conversation 3) They’re cheaper to make and 4) They’re more polished products than albums. Music Think Tank argues these points in regards to DIY musicians and them needing to consistently create.
If the industry moves forward with more EPs, smaller but more frequent outputs from artists, and less hiatus and long form LPs, then distribution is going to change (at least for some). It’s hard to believe the large-annual-fee model can be sustained in the EP culture. What DIY artist in their right mind would pay $30-40 each time for each EP/single in the year when they might have 2 or 3 more later? Other services like us can be more feasible in this market, where you only need to drop the same $1.99 flat fee per release.
When you have a culture of micro-releases, the industry must respond with micro-prices.