EP vs. Album: A Definitive Guide

As a musician, you must know the importance of release strategy by now. In a world full of singles, LPs, and Eps, which one should you choose to create a sweeping impact on your audience? Any musician on the brink of their first release wonders if they should go for an album or EP. Read our definitive guide on EP vs. Album to know more.

There is more to this question than meets the eye. Different release strategies come with different results. These can either make or break your game. For instance, a good release implemented at the wrong time might be futile in creating the impact you desire.

To help you with your confusion, we have brought you the differences between the two. Now you can weigh the pros and cons yourself and make a decision.

This article on EP vs. album would define both LP and Ep for you. Furthermore, it would guide you on how to trade-off between the two.

What is EP?

EP vs. Album: A Definitive Guide
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EP or ‘Extended play’ is like a mini-album that usually has a length of 20-25 minutes. An EP consists of 4-6 songs on average within that time frame. During the early phase of EP, it has a 10-inch format. You could play this at 45RPMs.

Usually, EP has a length of 14-15 minutes. Musicians use EP as a trailer for their upcoming album. Previously, they released EPs on disks. After disks, they transferred LP on CDs. However, these days, you can find EPs on online streaming platforms such as Spotify and iTunes. Artists may choose this format for many reasons, starting from budget to accumulating some fan base.

You can also read: What Does EP Stand for in Music?

What is an LP/album?

EP vs. Album: A Definitive Guide
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LP is the contracted version of the words ‘Long Play’. Once upon a time, LP used to mean a 12-inch diameter record. The speed of an LP was 33.3 RPMs initially. It means that an LP had duration of 44-45 minutes on a vinyl record with a diameter of 12 inches. Within that duration, an LP could consist of up to 12 songs.

These days, we use the words LP and albums interchangeably as they mean the same. Today, artists do not sway away from releasing albums that have duration of more than 45 minutes. Thanks to the digital era and advanced mechanisms for releasing music.

EP vs. Album: What are the Differences between EP and LP?

Both of these formats come with their pros and cons. In this EP vs album section we will discuss the differences between the two in terms of affordability, time constraint, and effect.

  • Duration

The main difference between EP and LP arises from the number of songs and the duration. Spotify defines any release as EP if the total time is under 30 minutes. Also, this release must consist of 4-6 words. On the contrary, an album can consist of more than seven tracks, and there is no restriction to duration.

The duration is more important than the number of songs in an album. If your tracks exceed 30 minutes but consist of only six songs, it would be labeled as an album. Therefore, you need to adhere to these strict rules if you wish to release EP. We have already mentioned EP can work as a snapshot of an album.

An established artist knows that snapshots are not enough to satiate the music needs of his fans. Therefore, he might opt for an album as it allows him to release more music. Therefore, he can connect to his fans better.

  • Risks

Releasing an album is riskier for an emerging artist than an established one. You know that recording your first album can cost you a million, let alone the other sacrifices. You might loan out some money to get your album in the market. Probably, you are an excellent singer. However, singing alone would not be enough to bring you the fame that you desire.

When you have an existing fanbase, it is less risky to release an album. Nonetheless, if you are just beginning your career, you would not have such a fanbase. Therefore, you would be walking in the dark throughout your first release.

If your songs do not capture enough attention, you might incur a huge loss. Therefore, sticking to EP would be a greater choice to establish your name.

  • Affordability

Since an album includes many tracks, it is only natural that the recording process would be more costly. However, in the case of EP, the cost of recording minimizes. Apart from that, it costs less to release EPs.

Therefore, if you are running short of money, EPs are a good option. However, you have to bear one thing in mind. EP requires almost the same level of marketing and promotion. Therefore, it would not be as cheap as you thought.

  • Constant Release

If you wish to embed your names in the minds of your followers, you need to come up with new content now and then. An album is long. Therefore, it takes more time, money, and effort to make. On the other hand, Eps are short and gives you an opportunity for frequent release.

EP vs. Album: How Do you Choose between the Two?

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There is no right and wrong answer to this. At first, figure out where you stand and what you are looking for. If you want less expense, more release, and greater flexibility in style, you can go for EPs.

However, if you have already created your fan base through your previously released EP, it is probably time to shift to releasing an album. An album can create more impact than an EP. Whatever, it is, you need to understand your objective first.


After reading this article on EP vs. album, you must realize that you have to consider both EPs and albums in your music career. However, the format will depend on the stage of your career, your target audience, and the time for your release. Now on this article on EP vs. album that we have told you about the entire process, which one would you choose for your next release?

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