The record industry is set to adopt Friday as the global release day for new albums instead of Tuesday, Billboard reports, the change will take place this summer. Its been some time coming actually, after seven months of back-and-forth (some reports on it were public but ultimately have been private) but the back and forth were instigated in part due to Aussie piracy and even Beyoncé’s surprise release in December of 2013. It’s has resulted in the global recording industry now accepting Friday as the release date for new albums.
As much as we look forward to Friday being the release day for new music there is still skepticism due to artists dropping albums/mixtapes like Beyoncé, Black Messiah, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, and that U2 record we all couldn’t easily get rid of. Artists are going rogue and releasing their music whenever the fuck they want, Kanye West said in an interview just last week “I’m trying to get it finished. I’m trying to get it to the people… Release dates is played out. So the surprise is going to be a surprise. There go the surprise.”
Kanye may actually be right about the outdated system, currently it’s when a record typically has multiple release dates tied to each region. For example, a new album will be out internationally on a Monday and in the U.S. it’s on a Tuesday. Well, not anymore!
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) released a statement. Friday was selected as the universal date because Fridays and Saturdays are when consumer traffic—in real life and online—is at its highest. Combating piracy was also cited as a reason for the switch…
Implementing this project across markets worldwide is going to be no small task. We asked our IFPI national groups to form working groups just for this task when discussions started last summer. Retailers, chart companies, labels and artists need to be involved. The key tasks of these working groups will include: adapting the charts to a Friday release for countries that presently have a different day; managing the process and system changes between different parties in the supply chain; marketing and branding so that there is a clear brand and consumer awareness around Global Release Day; and dealing with glitches that will inevitably arise during the process of the switchover.
While I agree that release dates are played out, these surprise releases have been pretty spot on… That U2 album aside, I can’t see how this affects artists, it will largely impact music consumers, publicists, and people who write music but what are your thoughts on this new change? Or maybe you agree and prefer artists going rogue, either way drop us a line about it, we’d love to hear your thoughts.