The EP is no longer a foreign initial in the music industry (most specifically in Nigeria) in recent times. However, this was not the case over two decades ago because as at then EPs were not a routine in Nigeria. But at the moment present day artists have utilised it as a strategic tool to introduce themselves to the music market and properly brand themselves.
WHAT IS AN E.P?
For a random reader who must have come across this now-common acronym before now and still doesn’t know what it means; here is what an E.P stands for. In the music industry, E.P is an acronym for “Extended Playlist” or simply put “Extended Play“.
An E.P contains songs often created for promotional use. It is usually a compilation of about four to six different songs with a playtime of about 20-25 minutes. Most times E.Ps are generally made using original tracks that the artists hasn’t released.
WHY DO ARTISTS RELEASE EPs?
There are quite a good number of reasons why artists and their management choose to dive into releasing an E.P. Some of them are;
1. To introduce artists to the market, bring them close to their specific audience and keep the interest in the artist alive between the release of a single and a full length album.
2. To help artists experiment with their music.
3. Since they are relatively easier to produce and promote, artists who want to release something more comprehensive and professional but can’t afford the cost of production of a full-length album dives into creating an E.P.
But above all and most importantly EPs can be used as a strategic promotional tool by artists.
HOW AN EP CAN BE USED AS A MUSIC PROMOTION TOOL.
Before the release of any EP and artist and label management should make sure it is released with a strategic mindset, and not just as an add-up to the artist’s discography.
This is because the EP is a strategic promotion tool for upcoming and even established artists to break into the market and/or grow their craft/brand.
Here are some of the ways an EP can be used as a music promotional tool.
1. EPs can be used to grow a community – a fanbase for an artist. For an upcoming artist, in between the time a single is released till when a full-length album gets ready. An EP can be used to break into the market, build a community (audience/fanbase) and then move from being unknown to become a niche artist.
2. EPs can help get an artist prepared for a debut album. In a time like this when an EP can be likened to a shortened album, artists can use an EP as a tool to keep the interest of their audience (community) alive before the release of full-length albums. This makes the artist aware of how well the audience enjoys and understands his music.
3. EPs can help an artist properly build a brand for themselves and maintain a brand presence. This can also trickle down to their style of delivery.
4. Some artists can also use EPs to experiment with new music styles. Since EPs are less costly to produce and with lower risks, already established niche artists can tamper with their style and see if it will be accepted by their audience. In most cases if this works out or is successful, some songs released on the EP could then go on to make albums.
5. Source of revenue. Since EPs are easier to produce and promote as stated earlier, artists and their record labels use it as a tool to drive in revenue, per adventure the EP becomes a success.
6. To promote a tour. Artists could use an EP as a tool to promote a tour especially in cases when the EP is successful. Since the audience love the songs on the EP, they will be willing to pay to watch the artist perform songs off the EP in a show.