Building your EPK: Electronic Press Kit
Updated: May 7
Hey Rockstars - so let's talk about your EPK. The Term EPK is short for Electronic Press Kit. EPK's are used in business but are also for artists and musicians alike and just like a resume or CV they showcase your music, your experience and your career highlights within the music industry. National Music Academy can help you with your EPK with our Artist Mentorship Program. Contact us to find out more.
So EPK's provide downloadable media for use by the music industry (journalists, talent buyers, promoters, venues, labels etc) on your behalf and feature your musical achievements. Your EPK is your professional promo package go to for your music brand in assisting you in: - Booking local shows, national and international tours - Booking festival sets
- Becoming a support act for other artists on tour - Submitting to press for media coverage (interviews / reviews / promotion of shows/tours / album release) - Pitching your music to labels
- Pitching your music to supervisors (get your music in movies man, or on TV shows, on video games, even as you shop at your local Woolies!) and even
- Showing your mum how cool you look
WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR EPK:
Many things can be added to your EPK and depending on your time in the industry and what your goals are. For example: booking a 300 capacity venue for a ticketed show will look a little different to someone that is wanting to put themselves forward to another band for a tour spot with a travelling festival.
Below we have just a few elements of an EPK that you may or may not wish to add to your presentation. If you're able to use both text and graphics in your EPK it will help as you need to put as much helpful info in your EPK but without it being too cluttered.
Music industry folk have hundreds if not thousands of requests and emails to go through each week so you need to need to get their attention with relevant information and then keep it. You need to make it easy for them to access your data and you want to make a good impression.
Your biography should act as the main text block for your EPK. List your band’s achievements and recent shows at notable venues. Talk about bands you’ve supported and any endorsements you have, while giving some general background on the band and it’s members.
It’s always a good idea to start a biography with a recent press quote, if you have one. General advice always says that you should have both a large and short biography prepared – Your EPK should contain your long version. This is a very important bit of reading for anyone who wants to know about your band, so make sure to check spelling and grammar and get it proof-read to make sure it looks and sounds professional. Journalists will use this biography when they publish about you.
2. AUDIO LINKS:
YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify – Wherever your music is (on your website would be great too), make sure it is listed in your EPK. Promoters and agents (before anything else) are going to want to hear what you sound like. If you’re an original act, you should prioritise your latest single, or whatever you are trying to book shows to promote. It’s worth remembering that some acts actually offer a free download as part of their press kit.
3. VISUALS PART 1: BAND PHOTOS AND ALBUM ART
Professional pictures of your band are essential for any EPK. Be sure to get a professional photographer in and discuss your goal image. Journalists will use these images and album art for interviews and reviews. Promoters will use the images for posters and on any entertainment agent’s roster. With any talent buyer or promoter, they may already have poster templates for a particular venue and just want an image to input into the template so be sure you have at least:
1. 1 x portrait image
2. 1 x landscape image It also helps to have both these images available in monochrome (black and white) ready and available for full high resolution download AS WELL AS a web ready low resolution download.
You may not notice but your music career has different chapters. Each album release is another chapter and each release may be then followed that up with a tour. Each chapter of your story needs a theme.
You should update your press image sets each time you:
- Are about to release a new album or single
- Are about to promote a tour
Any album art or poster art is also welcome. Some venues do not have the budget for promotion or printing posters so having something of your own is always great. It also shows you're organised.
It's also a good idea to include a downloadable PNG image of your band logo that promoters and venues can use on promotional materials for an event. This would also be located in your asset pack but we'll talk about this later on in another blog post.
4. VISUALS PART 2: VIDEOS
A great way for original acts and function bands to get more shows is to have some high-quality video footage. For function bands, this consists of a promotional video. Some shots of you performing live, with some overlaid information about your band is typically the traditional way to go, but the more original, the better. Any potential entertainment agent will want to see an eye-catching promo video.
Foo Fighters Official Music Video:
Foo Fighters LIVE Video
For original artists it could be a professionally shot video or even a live video from one of your gigs - NB: please make sure it is shot on landscape view. Links to YouTube videos are absolutely fine as promoters and talent buyers also look at the engagement and quality of your youtube account. They also want to make sure you can pull a crowd and want to see your live performance.
A discography is a complete collection or catalog of phonographic/recorded work by an artist or musician. It's set in date order and can be as simple as having a year of release and album name to including more specific information on each drop.
An example of a simple discography is: - 2018 Together EP - 2018 Oasis EP - 2017 Back and Forth EP - 2016 Rush Single - 2015 Mirrors LP - 2013 In Eternal Lines LP - 2012 Edge Party LP
An example of a more advanced and in depth discography (for example: The Foo Fighters) would include detailed aspects of each release including: - Album Name - Release Date - Label (eg Capital, RCA, - Formats (CD, LP Record or Vinyl, Digital Download, DVD etc)
- Global Peak Chart Positions (where the music came in on the charts globally)
- Any Certifications (typically awarded by the world wide music industry based on the total units sold, streamed, or shipped to retailers).
- Sales (in units) It shows data for all released studio albums, compilation albums, LIVE albums and single releases
6. PRESS QUOTES AND ARTICLES:
Have you been INTERVIEWED?
Have you had a LIVE review published?
Have you been interviewed or played on RADIO?
Have you had a REVIEW done of your album drop?
If you have had any media coverage make sure you include a favorable quote and be sure to always link back to it's source. If not, then reach out to local and not so local online music bloggers, music magazines and sites together with your EPK and ask them to review your music. Send them a link to your audio or physically send them your CD/Vinyl. Any positive testimonials from music industry figures are great to include but be sure to seek approval first as you don't want to misquote anyone as it could head south for you quite quickly. If you are a corporate act (eg: weddings and functions) be sure to add in any quotes from previous clients again, seeking permission first.
"Grohl is to rock what Tom Hanks is to Hollywood: the head cheerleader, the de facto mayor, and the guy everyone wants to hang with..." - Rolling Stone Magazine
"Grohl, now aged 49, dismisses recent concerns over his vocal chords to unleash thunderous screams during his in-between banter but shows his softer side when his 12-year-old daughter Violet is shown – much to her obvious embarrassment –on the video screens sat at the side of the stage as he introduces the song he wrote about her while on tour Walk..." - Express UK LIVE at Manchester Ethihad Stadium
Well first off your EPK should be on your website for one, but not in free view to your fanbase. Although your website is fan facing it's there for your fans to find your shows, buy merch and get general updates and information. Your EPK is the business-y side of your brand and is more for music industry peeps like labels, journalists, promoters, music supervisors and venues. Your EPK should be either on a private password protected page on your site or at least on a hidden page so that you can send your page link to your contact. When journalists and media agree to write a story on you (yay!), they have a quick place to grab press photos and bio info. This is heaven for journalists. It’s always a huge hassle having a journo go back-and-forth with an artist or their manager, or their mum over images or details. Having them all in one spot makes the writer’s job easier and knowing that the source is coming straight from the artists makes it safer too. Outdated press images and bios are published alllll the time so having your current press images on your EPK is key. Your website should offer additional, in-depth information that clients or potential managers can read, so make sure it is listed in your EPK with a link to your home page.
8. SOCIAL MEDIA
Any and all social media links should also be included in your EPK and remember to keep them updated regularly. Promoters and agents love to use social media to keep a track of how engaging, hard-working, busy and popular bands are. While having a lot of Facebook/Instagram likes or Twitter followers may look impressive, the most important thing to have on social media is an audience that engages with what you post and is likely to turn up to your shows. For this reason, resist the temptation to buy “Fake” likes. No promoter is going to be happy if they book a band with 122,000 Facebook likes when they can’t even get 10 people to their hometown show on a Saturday night.
Social statistics are important to share but will be needed to be updated on the regular on your EPK. Industry will look at your statistics. They may even use tools such as Trackalytics, social bakers or Socialblade to investigate further.
9. GIG CALENDAR:
Adding a gig calendar to your EPK shows where you are touring and working next. It shows if and where you may be on a rotational gig calendar.
10. PAST SHOW DATA:
Listing your past show data definitely helps the talent buyer/promoter see where you have worked and who you have worked with. List other artists you have supported, any festivals you have played and if possible, the venue capacity, total number of ticket sales and ticket pricing. This will help the promoter in pricing your ticketed events as well as see what geographical locations (and venues) you sell well at.
11. STAGE PLOT:
Many stage plots are sent after you have been booked but placing one on your EPK can alert a talent buyer or promoter on how you set the stage (literally) for your performance. It wont be much use if you have a 3x5m stage and a 10 piece act. Having a hyperlink to your stage plot and input list that's linked to another page of your site (say with your technical and performance riders) are sufficient enough and wont clutter your EPK. Hyperlinks for the win!
12. CONTACT LINKS:
While it is important to include up-to-date contact details for all band members, agents & managers, make sure to specify at least two which are to be treated as the preferred point of contact. You may also wish to add your publicist too.
- Telephone Number - LinkedIn
Want more help with your EPK's and Music Business? Contact us about our Mentorship Program by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting us via this site.
Software to assist in the making of your EPK: Easy Media Kit