This is the second article in a two-part series about marketing songs as single tracks. Part 1 is here.
By Jason Didner
Releasing songs as singles is worth serious consideration for the artist who’s playing nightclubs and coffeehouses to fellow adults. But how will this play in the kids’ music market? I’m willing to find out!
At present time, my band, Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam, has six songs tracked and at different stages of mixdown. The first single is ready to be digitally mastered and artwork is being prepared for online release in time for our next public performance. The strategy of releasing this single is in line with what these two authors suggest. The song is “Five Sea Lions” and we will perform it at Essex County, NJ’s Turtle Back Zoo – where they just opened their new Sea Lion Sound exhibit – in less than three weeks. In fact, my wife and I wrote the song for the occasion and then booked the appearance accordingly.
Pros, Cons and the Best of Both Worlds
We will boldly forge ahead with releasing singles online, one-at-a-time, and continue reporting how that works in the world of children’s music. We like the concept of each song standing on its own, gaining individual attention on its merits. We can’t argue with the casual music buyer’s current tendency to favor singles over albums. We know that it won’t cost us noticeably more to release a steady series of singles than it would to release the whole album at once, as if our emphasis were on physical CDs. In fact, we can start selling our music sooner this way and make the most of the publicity and opportunities that are coming together now, and then keep it going as we release more singles.
We also know what we’re giving up by going this route. The decisions over which physical CDs to sell at our shows is a bit more complicated, if we choose to sell physical media at all at this stage of the game. (We know we’ll at least have download cards at our shows.) Awards like Parents’ Choice, which can help discerning parents select the best music for their kids, appear to be geared toward albums, not singles, so those kinds of designations, which I would consider important milestones for a children’s music act, would have to go on hold. It also means deferring the sense of credibility an artist may feel in being able to say, “I have an album out.”
But we also know that we will make album available after most, if not all, of the singles have had their turn to stand on their own. An album composed of proven singles, perhaps hits in the kids’ music world, will be a strong album, free of the “filler” tracks that artists can sometimes dash off in a rush to have a complete album.
I will continue to write about this change we’re embracing in the music industry, how the parents, teachers and kids are responding, and I’d love to hear your take in the space below.
More About the Author …
Jason Didner has been a singer/songwriter for over two decades and was recently inspired to co-write children’s music by the addition of his daughter into his world. As she would demonstrate her fascination with the moon, ladybugs and guitar picks, Jason and his wife Amy, have found a fountain of imagination and are having more fun than ever creating and performing these songs. Amy contributes to the lyric writing and fulfilling the educational goals of each song, applying her background in teaching and curriculum modification. Seeing the delight and enrichment evident in their daughter, Jason and Amy embraced the firm belief that all children could benefit from these songs and proceeded to put together a wonderful band: Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam (www.JungleGymJam.com), which is performing at outdoor family events and library reading programs in and around their hometown of Montclair, NJ this summer.
Before taking the plunge into children’s music, Jason has enjoyed national radio airplay on NPR’s Car Talk program with his comedy number “You Can’t Get There from Here in Jersey” (www.JasonDidner.net) and critical acclaim for his self-released full-length album “American Road.” He also composed and recorded the minor league New Jersey Jackals’ theme song “Jackals on the Prowl.” He’s a member of Montclair’s community-focused “Parents Who Rock” (www.ParentsWhoRock.com) organization, which gives performances to raise funds for food pantries to help the area’s hungry families.