Please note that this guide is specific to Universal Music UK. If you are not using Linkfire as a user from Universal Music UK please visit this guide instead.
Pre-release links empower you to start promoting your music long before it’s available to your fans. They’re a great way to drive engagement, gain new followers, and increase streams while building momentum prior to an upcoming release.
With a pre-release link, fans can choose to automatically add an upcoming track or album to their Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music* or Deezer library the moment it goes live. Additionally, fans can choose to subscribe to up to 3 email marketing lists.
You can view this in-depth walk-through webinar hosted by our UMG-designated account manager Lígia to find out how to set up pre-release links, or, follow the written guide below.
1. Setup your pre-release link
To set up a pre-release link, start by clicking on the “Create Link” button and choosing the “Pre-release” link type.
Give your pre-release link a descriptive title, search for the main artist and select it from the dropdown menu, and add some internal tags—these let you easily filter and search through all your links on your board later on.
Customize the pre-release link with the required domain and shortcode (such as the release title) and upload artwork. It's recommended to avoid using the word “pre-save” in your shortcode because the pre-release link is designed to transform into a regular release link once the song or album is available.
When you’re done, click “Create draft.” You’ll be taken to the edit page, where you can finalize your link setup.
2. Edit your pre-release link
Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Apple Music, YouTube Music and TIDAL pre-add will be activated by default. Toggle off any service you don’t want to include on your landing page.
Below the Pre-Release services, you'll see a section to add the product URL (E.g. Apple Music or Spotify) or the UPC or ISRC, plus the release date and time. While this doesn't need to be done right away, you will need to come back and fill in this section prior to release.
3. Add email list and Newsletter ID
Click on "Email Lists" under the advanced settings options on the left-hand side.
From here, you can add up to 3 mailing lists to display on the email capture screen after a fan has pre-saved.
For each list, you need to input the following:
- Email list name (this will be displayed next to a tick box on the email capture screen)
- Newsletter API Form Code (Example format UMGUK0137-69145)
4. Add other services to your landing page
When setting up a pre-release link you can still include other services, such as linking to a pre-order on Amazon. However, since you're not scanning your link straight away you'll need to manually input product URLs for these services. At the time and date you indicate in the pre-release section, all of the services on your link will be rescanned, and any matches found will be input, replacing any existing destinations (for automated services only).
5. Customize pre-release landing page and social cards
Preview your pre-release landing page and customize the artwork, description, and call-to-action buttons. Please refer to this Help Center article to learn more about how to customize your landing page.
6. Share link
Once you’re happy with your landing page setup, click on the green “Done” button, and then click the “Update” button in the top-right corner. You’re ready to share your pre-release link!
From the link feed, hover on the newly created link and click 'Get Link'. Choose the channel you're sharing the link on, and copy the final URL to share.
Please note: You cannot use a direct-to-service link to route fans straight to a pre-save/pre-add consent page.
7. Email capture
Once fans go through the pre-save/pre-add flow they will be presented with an email capture screen, with the option to opt-in to up to 3 mailing lists. If a fan signs up to a mailing list, Linkfire sends the email address straight to the Artist mailing list, ready for you to contact.
8. What happens on the release day?
At the release date and time you entered, Linkfire will perform a scan and find matches across all service destinations (as defined in your board settings). Your pre-release landing page will convert to a release landing page with the list of new service destinations. The call-to-action buttons next to your pre-save destinations will change from “Pre-save/Add” to “Play.” You can further customize the landing page to fit your needs in the “Landing page” section.
Fans who pre-saved the release will see it in their music libraries on release day.
Please note: The scan source you used will impact where the product will be allocated on Spotify
Source: UPC or album level link <https://open.spotify.com/album/>
Result: the release will be added to the user's Spotify under Your Library > Albums
Source: ISRC or track level link <https://open.spotify.com/track/>
Result: the release will be added to the user's Spotify underLiked Songs
Additionally, fans who pre-saved on Spotify, Deezer, Amazon, YouTube Music and TIDAL will also automatically start following the artist.
Please note: An artist listed as “contributor” or “featured” on a release will not be auto-followed.
*The Amazon Music APIs are in Beta
** YouTube Music currently only works for album pre-adds