Friday Global Music Release Day to Begin in July

Music fans, it’s official; new music releases will now be hitting store on Fridays.

Months after a somewhat confirmation that Tuesdays would no longer be new music release day (at least here in the United States), it was revealed that new music will now be released, globally, on Fridays. This change will take effect as of July 10.

The announcement was made this morning (June 11), by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), who with the assistance of record labels, retailers, artist representatives, music unions, and chart companies, were able to complete the switch.

The unified release day was done in an effort to not have fans from around the country waiting for new music from their favorite artists. Every country had its preferred release day such as Mondays for France and the United Kingdom; Tuesday for the U.S.; and Fridays for Ireland, Germany, and Australia.

The unified day is also an attempt, from the record industry, to combat piracy that tends to happen whenever a major new record is released in some countries and not in others.

“This was done primarily for the consumer” IFPI CEO Frances Moore told Billboard.

“Consumers were telling us via different pieces of research done across many countries that Fridays and Saturdays was when they wanted new music and that’s what has led this campaign. We’re hoping that with more consumers in stores on Fridays and Saturdays, which stores tell us leads to increase impulse buying, and with peak activity on most social media [typically taking place over the weekend], will all lead to an increase in sales.”

Moore continues by saying that July was chosen because it would “make sure that any glitches in the system were dealt with over the summer period.”

So now that we have a new music release day, the question becomes ‘what albums will be making their debuts on the new day?’ According to the report, electro-pop group Years & Years will released their debut album Communion on the new day.

Also joining that list will be Veruca Salt. The 90s band will be releasing their fifth studio album Ghost Note, on the new release day.

But with all the backing from music industry insiders, there are some who are not welcoming the change, at all.

When news first surfaced about this change last year, Beggars Group founder and CEO Martin Mills said that he feared “this move will also lead to a market in which the mainstream dominates, and the niche, which can be tomorrow’s mainstream, is further marginalized.”

Some U.S. retailers are also feeling the same.

Mike Fratt, general manager and buyer at Homer’s Music in Omaha, NE, told the Wall Street Journal last fall, “Global release day? Great idea. Friday? A really crazy, poor idea.”

No matter what side you’re on, it’s official, Fridays will now be known as “New Music Fridays.”

Fridays Officially Become New Music Release Day

The days of going out on Tuesday to buy your favorite artists’ new album are officially going to be history.

Earlier this week, it was reported by Music Week that the official music release date would be changed from Tuesday to Friday which would become a universal release date for new music.

International Federation of Phonographic Industry head Frances Moore, had more than confirmed the news during the interview with the music website, even promising that a formal announcement would be made soon.

Turns out, that “really soon” was today.

The back-and-forth for the change has been going on since Australia made their official music release date Friday back in August. Now, every other country including music industry powerhouses like the United States and the United Kingdom have made it official.

The IFPI, which represents labels worldwide conducted a study before the decision was formally made with Moore saying the following about the results found.

“Music fans live in the digital world of today. Their love for new music doesn’t recognize national borders. They want music when it’s available in their country. An aligned global release day puts an end to the frustration of not being able to access releases in their country when the music is available in another country.”

While Moore and the vast majority of record labels and people behind the scenes were all for the change in release date, not all were happy with the decision, especially those in the independent field of the music industry.

In Music Week’s article, they interviewed Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills who had a lot to say on the matter especially giving his opinion that it would make it more difficult for independent artists to reach the same success like those who have backing from major record labels.

“I fear this move will also lead to a market in which the mainstream dominates, and the niche, which can be tomorrow’s mainstream, is further marginalized. I fear it will further cement the dominance of the few – and that is exactly what it is intended to do,” Mills was quoted as saying.
But Mills isn’t alone is not liking the shift.

Mills is not alone in his dislike of the new policy.

Rich Bengleoff, the head of the American Association of Independent Music released a statement which he sees the potential of a global release date, but the draw backs when it comes to the business aspect of the industry.

“A2IM supports the concept of a global release date but, for a variety of business reasons as spelled out in out previous comments, there are a number of business hurdles that make Fridays less optimal for the United States marketplace, and independents in particular. That said, as part of the worldwide music community, A2IM will endeavor to make the transaction as smooth as possible for our members and our commerce partners and a success for our artists’ fans.”

The transition is scheduled to begin this Summer.

Record Release Date to Move to Fridays?

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Could record release date officially be moved to Fridays across the world? According to Billboard, this new idea to counter internet piracy has been floating around for sometime, but the actual idea to go through with it begun shortly after Australia officially made Fridays their new music release date.

With the country’s decision to do so, it made global piracy a bigger issue than before because now, illegal digital downloads of new music could be obtained almost immediately.

People in the United Kingdom would normally have to wait until the following Monday to obtain new music releases, while those in the United States would normally need to wait until the following Tuesday.

Some sources say that this is almost a done deal with major labels and RIAA in agreement, but others are saying that the decision to make the move has not been fully decided upon yet even though there’s an estimated date of July 2015 for everything to be put into action.

While in theory the idea sounds promising for those that make money off of the sale of new music (you know the people pushing for the universal release date), there seems to be several issues that arise with the suggested date.

With the varying street release dates, record labels are given many opportunities to have the artists do promotion events to help market the new albums. While Billboard points out that it can still be done on the week that the record comes out, it would make it harder for labels to schedule high-profile appearances on the date the records hit the street. In turn, it would also affect the artists with having to schedule so much promotional work in a span of five days.

Also against this new idea? The independent record store and indie labels.

They have said in that they believe that having an early week release helps them sell more. Hardcore fans of artists with new music will go buy the new record on Tuesdays, while those who typically wait until payday, will go purchase the record at the end of the week. Even though indie label and merchants are vocal about this, Billboard points out that they most likely would not have a say in the day that gets chosen.

At the end of the day, we all know this is just some ploy for record labels to get more money. If piracy was able to happen once before and even threats of fining and prison time did not discourage people from doing so, you think changing the release date would have such an influence? Probably not.