Beginning next month, you’ll have to wait until Friday to hear the week’s new music releases. For the first time in the history of the recording industry, new music will be released on the same day across the globe, with U.S. releases moving from the usual Tuesday premiere, to Friday.
According to a report by Billboard, the impetus for the global transition was both a change in consumer choice, and the recording industry’s response to globalization as the web allows artists to transcend borders.
The new global record release day will take effect beginning on July 10, announced today by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Currently, new music is released on different days worldwide: Tuesdays in the U.S. and Canada, Mondays in the U.K. and France, and Friday in Australia, Ireland, and Germany, for example. Once the new system is in place, 45 countries will adopt the globally aligned releases, including all of the aforementioned locales. Some countries, including Japan and others in Asia, will continue to release domestic music on Wednesdays.
Research that the IFPI undertook “across many countries” showed that people preferred to listen to new music on Fridays and Saturdays, said IFPI CEO Frances Moore to Billboard. “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 [taking place over the weekend], will all lead to an increase in sales.”
While many record execs — including Sony Music CEO Edgar Berger and Universal Music Group president Andrew Kronfeld — support the global release day, there has been some backlash, especially from indie record execs. “I fear this move will also lead to a market in which the mainstream dominates,” said Beggars Group (home of Vampire Weekend, Beck, and Radiohead) CEO Martin Mills in February, “and the niche, which can be tomorrow’s mainstream, is further marginalized.”