What Does EP Stand For in Music?

December 19, 2022

If you're an aspiring musician, you've probably always been curious about what EP stands for in music, or maybe you've heard the term thrown around, but you need clarification on what it means.

Well, thankfully, in this blog post, we'll delve into the world of extended play (EP) albums and answer the burning question: What is an EP? What is an EP in music? What does it stand for in music?

We will explain what's an EP and how it differs from other formats like LP and album. We'll also explore EP's meaning and the ins and outs of EP recording and promotion. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn more about EP.

What is an Ep in Music? What Does Ep Stand For?

The word "EP" stands for "extended play", which is a bit of a misleading term. An EP is a type of album, but it's typically shorter than a full-length album and contains fewer songs.

EPs are usually between four and six songs long, which usually last less than 30 minutes altogether. However, there is no hard and fast rule about the number of songs that must be included on an EP.

EPs frequently serve as prequels for forthcoming albums, aiming to generate interest and make awareness of a larger music project about to be released. All of these make Eps an effective marketing tool for musicians.

For a new band to interest their audience, EPs can be used frequently to create short songs before the release of their new album.

Clearing Up the Confusion of Music Formats - LP vs EP vs Album

Are you fed up with all the confusion between these different music formats? It's time to clear it up once and for all!

Let's start by getting one thing straight: an EP is not the same as an album! An EP stands for 'Extended Play,' a type of album with more than a single track but fewer tracks than a full-length album. EPs typically have 4-6 tracks, which can be a great way for artists to experiment with new sounds and styles without committing to a full-length release.

What about LPs? LP stands for "Long Play", another term for a full-length album. LPs usually have 10-12 tracks and are the most common type of album format. LPs can be released on vinyl, CD, or digital formats, and they're a great way for artists to showcase their full range of talent and creativity.

Finally, we have albums. In the music world, the term "album" is used interchangeably with LP to refer to a full-length release. An album can have anywhere from 8-15 tracks, and it's the most comprehensive way for artists to share their music with the world.

So, if you're ever unsure what an LP means or what an EP is regarding music formats, now you know!

What is the Best Way to Release Music?

There's more than meets the eye when it comes to releasing music. Singles, EPs, LPs, and albums have upsides and can reach different audiences. Hence, musicians must consider their goals when deciding which format works best.

One option is to release singles. This lets you post new music frequently and keeps your audience engaged. It also allows you to experiment with different styles and sounds without committing to a full-length release.

However, singles can be seen as less substantial than other formats, and it may be challenging to build a cohesive body of work or narrative with this approach.

Another option is to release an EP. This format allows you to create a smaller collection of songs that still feels substantial and complete. It's a great way to showcase your sound and build anticipation for a full-length release. Although some listeners may see EPs as too short. Also, you may need to provide more music to satisfy fans looking for more.

Opt for an LP or album if you want to release a larger collection of songs. This format allows you to create a cohesive narrative and show off your artistic vision in greater depth. It's also a great way to establish yourself as a serious artist and build a dedicated fan base.

But creating a full-length release can be a big undertaking, and it may take longer to put out new music if you go this route. The best way to release music depends on your goals and artistic vision.

So, whether you release singles, EPs, LPs, or albums, the most important thing is to create music that you're passionate about and resonates with your audience.

How Many Songs Are on an EP and How Long is it Generally?

As mentioned earlier, an EP, or extended play album, typically contains 4-6 tracks. This is more than the two or three tracks you'll find on a single but fewer than the 10-12 tracks on a full-length album. So, an EP is a happy medium between a single and an album.

But what about the length of an EP?

Well, that's a bit more difficult to pin down, as it can vary depending on the genre, style, and length of the tracks on the EP. However, most EPs are generally around 20-30 minutes in length. This is shorter than a full-length album, which can be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or more, but longer than a single, usually around 3-5 minutes.

Why Would a Musician Want to Release an EP Instead of a Full-Length Album?

Experienced industry veterans and young up-and-comers alike are jumping on the EP bandwagon. Well, there are a few reasons for this trend.

For one, releasing an EP can be a great way for seasoned artists to maintain visibility among fans while still managing the pressure of full release schedules.

Also, recording and releasing an EP is often less expensive and time-consuming than recording and releasing a full album. This makes it a good option for musicians who are just starting and need more resources.

Another reason is that today's listeners have shorter attention spans than ever before, and an EP might be enough content to keep them engaged until your next project or collaboration drops. For some, this means less stress in the studio and more time getting creative with co-producers, guest appearances, and innovative concepts that lead to their next big hit!

As funny as it sounds, did you know artists release EPs to test the waters and see how an audience responds to their music? If they're unsure if their music will resonate with listeners, an EP can be an excellent way to get feedback and gauge interest without committing to a full album.

Thinking about Releasing an EP? Here are a Few Things to Consider

If you're an aspiring musician, you might consider releasing an EP – But where do you start? Well, here is all you need to decide whether an EP is the right move for you.

First and foremost, it's essential to understand what an EP is and how it differs from other formats like LPs and albums. An EP, or extended play album, typically contains 4-6 tracks and lasts around 20-30 minutes.

This is more than the two or three tracks you'll find on a single but fewer than the 10-12 tracks on a full-length album. So, an EP is a great way to experiment with new sounds and styles without committing to a full-length release.

Once you've decided that an EP is the right move for you, it's time to start thinking about the songs you'll include on your EP. You'll want to choose tracks that showcase your unique style and talent but also flow well together and create a cohesive listening experience.

It's also important to consider the length of the tracks – you don't want an EP that's too long or too short. So, aim for a balance of longer and shorter tracks to keep the listener engaged.

More importantly, you'll need to consider how to promote your EP once it's released. This can include social media marketing and email campaigns to physical flyers, posters, and activities on music streaming platforms.

You'll want to get the word out about your EP and ensure it reaches as many people as possible. With a bit of planning and hard work, you can create a killer EP that showcases your talent and gets your music out into the world.

Tips for Getting Your Short But Sweet EP Out There

If you've just released an EP, congratulations! But now that your EP is out in the world, it's time to start thinking about promoting it and getting it into the hands (or, rather, ears) of as many people as possible.

It's essential to make sure your EP is available on as many streaming platforms as possible. This will make it easy for potential listeners to find and listen to your music. One of the best streaming promotional platforms is Smart Links, which allows you to create a custom landing page for your EP and promote it on social media and other online channels.

Another important tip for promoting your EP is creating buzz around its release. This can include everything from sharing teaser clips and behind-the-scenes footage on social media to holding a listening party or live performance to celebrate the EP's release. The more people you can get talking about your EP, the better.

Also, feel free to reach out to influencers, bloggers, and other industry professionals to get your EP in front of more people. You can offer them a preview of your EP in exchange for a review or feature, which can help spread the word about your music.

With these three smart marketing strategies, you can ensure your EP gets the attention it deserves.

Why You Should Consider an EP for Your Next Musical Venture

You can spice up your music career with an EP! If you're looking to make a splash with your next musical project, the answer isn't always a full-length album.

Think of it this way: an EP is like a sampler platter at a restaurant — why limit yourself to just one or two dishes when you can try several? An EP allows you to get creative, explore a range of melodies, and release several songs in one convenient package.

Rather than putting the time and energy into a single project that could make or break your career, why not have a go at an EP? By sticking to more manageable track lengths, you can get more creative, experiment more freely and take risks in your music production!

What's more, if you stick the landing less than you had hoped with one or two tracks, it's nothing to worry about - just move on to the next one! You'll still be able to get the attention of industry professionals and fans alike while having the ability to showcase multiple styles across several mini albums - a win/win situation in our book.

Not only that. EPs are far more cost-effective than recording an entire album. Why spend the money on all that studio time and equipment when you can get the same result in half the effort and expense? So, why not give it a try? You could be powering up your portfolio with your mini-masterpiece before you know it!

Some Interesting Facts About EPs

Now that you know what EPs are, let's get you acquainted with some interesting facts about them:

  • EPs have been around for nearly as long as the phonograph: In the early 20th century, record companies would release EPs to package multiple 78 RPM records in a more convenient package.
  • EPs have often been used as a stepping stone for up-and-coming artists: Many successful musicians, including The Beatles and Radiohead, started by releasing EPs before moving on to full-length albums.
  • EPs are not just for mainstream musicians: Independent artists often use this format to self-release their music and build a fanbase. Before the rise of streaming services and online platforms, it has always been challenging for aspiring musicians to share their EPs with the world.


Now you know everything there is to know about the mysterious world of EPs in music. From EP meaning to the differences between EPs, LPs, and albums, we've covered it all.

But don't just take our word for it – go out and listen to some EPs for yourself and see what all the fuss is about. Who knows, you might just become an EP convert!

And if you are ready to release your EP, check out our platform, which can help you grow your streams, listeners, and fans. So, go ahead and create your account for free to start promoting your EP today!

Your music marketing starts here

No credit card required

Curved Shape

Your music marketing starts here

No credit card required

Music24 logo