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The Comprehensive Guide to EP in Music: Making and Selling

EP in Music: What It Is and How to Make and Sell One

As a fan of music, you must have heard about EP albums. But do you know what they are and why they exist?

In this article, we have provided a comprehensive guide to EP in music with a focus on its definition, purpose, and how to make and sell one. What is an EP in Music?

EP stands for “extended play”, which is essentially a collection of songs that is longer than a single but shorter than an album. EPs typically contain four to six tracks and are shorter in length compared to an LP or full-length album.

EPs have been around in the music industry for a long time. They first emerged in the 1950s and were popular among independent artists who were trying to gain more exposure.

The term “extended play” was coined to differentiate it from a single, which typically contained only one or two tracks.

The Purpose of an EP in Music

EPs serve a variety of purposes in the music industry. Here are some of the most common ones:


To gain more exposure

Independent artists often release EPs to attract new fans and generate buzz around their music. This is because it’s easier to sell a short collection of songs at a lower price point than a full-length album.

2. To showcase musical versatility

EPs allow musicians to showcase their versatility by experimenting with different styles and genres.

This is an advantage because it can help them attract a wider range of fans who appreciate the variety of musical expressions. 3.

To supplement a full-length album

EPs can be used as a pre-release of a full album to build excitement. Alternatively, they can be released after an album to continue the momentum, or to showcase alternative versions or remixes of the albums tracks.

Formats of EP in Music

EPs come in various formats depending on the artist’s preference, marketing strategy, and distribution channels. Here are some of the most popular formats:



Many music collectors still prefer the vinyl format. The large cover art and the warm sound quality make vinyl a great choice for artists who aim to create a unique listening experience for their fans.

Vinyl EPs are typically distributed through indie record stores and online marketplaces. 2.


CDs are still a popular choice for many music lovers worldwide. They offer a cost-effective way to produce physical copies of EPs and are easy to distribute in stores and online.

3. Digital Download

Most EPs are now available as digital downloads, which allow fans to buy and download the EP directly to their devices.

This format is available on various platforms, such as iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon Music. Who Can Make an EP Album?

Anyone who can sing, rap, produce beats, or play an instrument can make an EP album. In fact, EPs are often the starting point for many professional musicians, and they continue to produce them throughout their careers.

Guide to Making an EP

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create an EP:

1. Determine Your EP’s Concept

The first step in creating an EP is to come up with a concept.

The concept is the theme that will run through your tracks. For example, you can create a love-themed EP, or you can mix different genres to create a fusion of sounds.

2. Write the Songs

Once you have your concept, it’s time to create the songs.

Write your lyrics, compose your melody, and fine-tune your arrangements. You may work with a music producer or an audio engineer to ensure that your tracks are high quality and professionally mixed.

3. Record Your Tracks

The next step is to record your tracks in a professional recording studio.

You will work with a team of sound engineers, producers, and musicians to create a polished sound that matches your vision. 4.

Mix and Master Your Tracks

Once your tracks are recorded, they will be mixed and mastered to produce the final EP. Mixing involves blending individual tracks together to create a cohesive sound, while mastering involves adding the final touches to ensure that your tracks have the right balance and sound great across multiple platforms.

5. Get Your EP Out There

Once your EP is ready, you can sell it to fans online and offline.

You may partner with a record label or explore crowdfunding platforms to raise funds for the production and marketing of the EP.

Selling an EP

There are many options for selling your EP after it’s produced. Here are some of the most popular options:



As the owner of the EP, you have complete control over how it’s distributed and marketed. This means you can sell it through various channels you find profitable.

2. Sell online and offline

You can sell your EP on digital distribution platforms like Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon Music or register on popular CD distribution channels, such as Amazon, CD Baby or Red Eye Worldwide.

Offline options include partnerships with stores, stalls, music festivals, and local events. 3.

Physical format

While digital is more common with EP sales, some fans still love to have physical copies. Some options include vinyl, CDs, and limited edition or signed copies.

Each format has its advantages and appeal to different audience preferences. 4.


Marketing is crucial to the success of your EP. You can consider working with a PR company, engaging social media, marketing emails and collaborations with bloggers and influencers.


And there you have it, a comprehensive guide on EPs in music including understanding what they are, their purpose, and a guide on how to make and sell one. An EP may not be as long as a full album, but it can be a powerful tool for newly emerging artists in building a devoted fan base, reserving creative rights, and still profiting from their musical work.

EPs and LPs: How They Differ

EPs and LPs are two different types of releases in the music industry. While they both involve the distribution of multiple tracks, they differ in their length, purpose, and their impact on an artist’s career.

Comparison to LPs

LPs or “long-playing” albums are the traditional format of a full-length album. They typically contain ten to twelve tracks and run for approximately thirty to forty-five minutes.

Because of their length, LPs are ideal for artists who aim to deliver a complete and more immersive musical experience to their listeners. In contrast, EPs contain fewer tracks and are shorter in length.

They are not utilized as complete musical statements the way LPs often are. They are used to represent special moments of expression, creativity, and experimentation for the artist.

EPs can also introduce a musical concept and create an audience for it while LPs are established in full in a musical concept and land significant milestones for artists. A good example of the difference between the two is the release of Taylor Swifts 2019 album “Lover.” The album consisted of seventeen tracks and was the longest album she had released in her career.

However, the lead-up to the release was supported by the release of two EPs, ME!, and You Need To Calm Down, each with two tracks. The two EPs enabled Swift to tease two distinct sound profiles and a specific message that connected with fans while feeding anticipation toward the full album release.

Furthermore, EPs are used as creative opportunities for artists and collaborators to experiment with new sounds, release cover songs or remixes, or work on guest collaborations. They offer creative freedom and exploration as opposed to the structured and cohesive approach of a full-length album.

EPs can also be an intriguing way to signal a change or shift in musical direction as opposed to a full album where the artist has to stay consistent with the overall concept.

How EPs Differ from LPs and the Impacts on an Artists Career

The importance of EPs in an artists career cannot be overlooked. Here are some ways that EPs differ from LPs and their impact on an artist’s career:


Cost and Time Investment

Creating an LP typically requires a more significant investment in time and resources such as studio time, production, and marketing. This means that an artist may need to wait longer before they can release an LP as opposed to an EP.

EPs, on the other hand, can be completed in a shorter time, and with lesser resources making them a more viable option for beginners or those on a budget. 2.


As earlier mentioned, LPs serve the purpose of creating a holistic and immersive musical expression. EPs serve different purposes such as experimenting with new sounds, testing year-long projects, or representing a musical concept for a particular segment of your audience.

3. Increased Exposure

EPs have the advantage of giving artists a platform to showcase their creativity with songs that might not have fit in an album’s overall concept.

This can, in-turn help expand their fanbase, generate more exposure, and increase their chances of getting a record deal. 4.

Cost-Effective for Consumers

EPs are a cost-effective option for consumers and music fans. For those who are not ready to invest in an artist’s full album, an EP gives them a taste of an artist’s style and sound without the full commitment investment.


In conclusion, EPs have a crucial role in an artist’s musical journey, from gaining more exposure to showcasing versatility in their music. They allow artists to experiment with new ideas and sounds and can be used as a pre-album release strategy to hype the album’s release.

LPs, on the other hand, are complete collections of the artist’s larger musical vision, expressed through a cohesive album-length narrative.

By fully exploring their purpose, differences from LPs and impact, EPs are excellent opportunities for beginning artists and growing musicians to showcase their dynamic talents resulting in greater exposure.

This article serves as a guide for those looking for a comprehensive understanding of EPs and can help artists make informed decisions about their music careers.

So, share this guide with fellow music lovers and hopeful emerging artists, or feel free to ask us questions should you need further help.

In summary, EPs and LPs are both integral parts of an artist’s musical journey in the music industry, distinguished by their length, purpose and impact. While LPs serve a coherent and immersive musical expression, EPs provide more creative freedom, experimentation, and diversity in sound, concept and prospect.

By understanding the differences and benefits, artists can make informed decisions that will showcase their versatility and connectivity to their audience. Finally, the importance of EPs in a musical career provides artists with an excellent entry point to the industry, assisting with expanding their fanbase, providing a creative environment for exploration, experimentation, and alternative marketing strategies.

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