I read an article in Billboard about extended play, better known as the EP, coming to the rescue of the music industry. I was inspired once again and sold on the idea of the EP. I have been stressing for years that artists should release fewer tracks with a consistent release schedule. People always look at me like he must be crazy. However, the idea here is to give music consumers quality music and not to rush the creative process. Also, this fills the needs of the consumer who have become one-track buyers. There really isn’t a need for whole albums unless you’re an artist or group that has shown commercial success. Other than that, an artist or group needs to have a quality album. Let’s be honest there are not many of them out there.
The article went on to talk about how artists could start off with an EP and build the EP into an album. This way the investment of the album would be backed by music consumers, while leaving the labels with less risk and guess work on the taste of the listeners. Also, aiding the A&R staff on what the consumers like and dislike, again cutting out the risky business.
The over all idea of bringing back the EP reminds me of the early 90’s. The cassette tape singles were the biggest rage. The trend was to buy the most popular songs in the single format. Most of these artists were one hit wonders and had much success due to these single releases.
I feel with digital distribution at our fingertips the success rate of years past would be high. Labels could cut the cost of marketing, promotions and distribution, if they created an in-house online platform for EPs and singles tracks. The platform would allow the label to retain 100% of the profits and the consumer would have a one-stop shop. This shop would have less saturation, because it would only feature artists and groups signed or distributed by the label. Only time will tell the outcome.