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In the music industry, a release usually is a creative output from an artist, available for sale or distribution; a broad term covering the many different formats music can be released in, and different forms of pieces (singles, albums, extended plays, etc.).
Musical performers often self-release (self-publish) their recordings without the involvement of an established record label. While some acts who enjoy local or small scale popularity have started their own labels in order to release their music through stores, others simply sell the music directly to customers, for example, making it available to those at their live concerts. With the growth of the Internet as a medium for publicizing and distributing music, many musical acts have sold their recordings over the Internet without a label. Unlike self-publishing a novel, which is usually done only when no other options exist, even well-established musicians will choose to self-release recordings. Music managers are increasingly getting involved in such releases and with the advent of artist management labels which have stepped in to save the situation. In Kenya, for example, most record labels only handle production thus leading to a situation where records are less marketed and this has prompted music companies like Grosspool Music to sign independent artists and manage their branding, releases and marketing.
- Reissue, or rerelease
- Music recording sales certification
- Film release
- Legal release: "music release" may also refer to a legal release of music (e.g. for film)