Why you should have it, what is in it, and how you create it – A Labelcaster guide to the perfect Electronic Press Kit (EPK)
Why should you have an EPK?
Let’s face it, the music industry is tough and full of talent, all fighting over press coverage, media spots and live bookings. Journalists, blogs and promoters receive hundreds of mails every day with pitches for music they should listen to and write about. If given a choice between two interesting bands, they will go with the one pitch that has the most accessible material for them to write about – here’s where the EPK becomes important.
The Electronic Press Kit is how people in the industry get to know you and your music. Think of your EPK as your professional CV – the one place to find your music, promotional material and key information.
You should also see your EPK as a source to any promotional work. If a label manager is putting together a press release, they can take all they need from there.
The EPK makes it easy to introduce you to agents, clients, labels, venue promoters and anyone else in the business. A well designed EPK also helps anyone who wants to present you to the world to do so without having to ask any further questions.
What’s in an EPK?
An Electronic Press Kit is a curated collection of your music, artist bio, press pictures and key information designed to present a clear picture of you as an artist.
We’ve listed the essential elements to your EPK as follows:
The most important part: your music. It should be presented as a link taking the reader to a reputable streaming service (i.e. Spotify, Soundcloud). An embedded player or a link to the service is up to personal preference. This way, no download is required and you are safe from anyone abusing the option of downloading your music.
The music you have in your EPK should also represent where you are as an artist today. If any of your previous releases has had way better success than others, that can also be an option.
Press photos tell a visual story to complement your music, and should not be underestimated. Headshots, promo shots, performance photos and cover art in different formats all help a writer fit your visuals in whatever piece they are writing. Put your best photos front and center in your EPK, and provide a download link for all your photos in high resolution.
While iPhones do take great pictures, you will most likely get more professional material by having a professional with a real camera take your promotional photos.
Remember to swap your photos every few months to keep your EPK up to date.
Your artist bio should be longer in the EPK than it is on your Spotify artist page. But it is important to keep it concise and to the point. Your EPK is first and foremost for people in the business – measurable achievements and clear description should be prioritised over loose definitions and dreamy wording.
Here are a few points to consider:
- What kind of music do you make?
- How and why did you start making music?
- What are some great achievements you have made?
- What are some inspirations and influences you take from?
- Where are you going career wise in the near future?
Provide your artist bio the same way as your visual material. Put a short and punchy version right in your EPK for easy access, and provide a download link for other formats. These formats could be for social media profiles, streaming service artist pages, or press release bios.
On a Spotify artist page, people will be focusing on your music, so a short bio will be more effectual. A press release bio should be lengthier, painting a wider picture. The EPK artist bio should be in the middle, providing a clear story, but without too much detail.
With all the formats available in a thought out manner, the reader will easily get to know you in the way they wish.
Video material to go along your music is essential these days. To showcase your artistry in video is telling of your full commitment to your career. Work with video the same way as your other material: embed the best one in your EPK with the option of streaming other notable videos through links.
Press Coverage, Reviews, and Quotes
Have you gotten any press coverage? Have any blogs written about you? If so, you can paste highlights or quotes of theirs in this section, with links to the full article or video.
If a podcast or radio show has mentioned you, link to the correct time of the quote if possible.
Social Media and Contact Information
Easy access to your official links and contact details is essential. Dedicate a section of your EPK to all ways of contacting you; including an offical e-mail, website, TikTok, Instagram, Bandcamp and other media you’re present on.
Icons of your different contact details and accounts at the top of your EPK make them easy to find.
How to structure an EPK
Do you have an artist website? If so, you could host your EPK in a separate section on the website. A website can hold many different sections, providing all kinds of information and description. The EPK is often much shorter, more concise and to the point. You can share the EPK simply by linking to that section of the website, with an option of downloading the EPK from there. The other standard way of sharing an EPK is sending it in PDF format.
There are pros and cons of both ways. The PDF will be visible straight away in most mail clients, while the link is one more click away. The PDF needs to be small enough to be mailed succesfully, and in both formats you need to think of how it looks on a mobile as well as a desktop computer.
You should avoid having it in standard text format. People use different mail clients, browsers and devices, which means the EPK could be formatted in unintended ways.
Also avoid using out of the ordinary fonts. Your text should be clear and precise, and easy to read. Use a universal standard font, with colors aiding the reading.
When putting together the different sections we listed above, prioritise the music, bio, photos and contacts together with social media. These are highly important and should be visible as soon the reader starts looking for them.
The perfect electronic press kit (EPK) paints a clear picture of you as an artist, lets people in the music business get to know you, and makes it easy to contact you.
The things we have listed above are the essential pieces of information, but you can fill your EPK with additional details like tour dates, tech rider and more that would be of use to anyone about to work with you.
Anyone looking to write about you, book you for a live performance, or to just get to know you better will not have a better place to look than your EPK!