For years, the release of new music has been the only thing making Tuesdays bearable, but that is no longer. Music Week reported that the music industry is making Fridays the new global release date for music. Although this idea has been in the making since last summer, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFIP) made an official announcement today, February 26:
“The compelling logic of Friday is that it is the day that best suits consumers … the highest footfall in physical retail stores and the highest levels of purchasing traffic online. It’s also the time of greatest activity on social media, helping amplify the buzz around new releases everywhere. And the weekend is a time for greater spontaneous purchasing.”
The release date change will go into effect this summer. The IFIP’s Frances Moore said that “the good news has been the widespread support we’ve seen around the world for global release day — no one has seriously questioned the concept, the only debate has been about the day.” Moore also stated that retailers, labels, and artists internationally have all been supportive of the date change thus far.
The IFIP believes that changing the global release date will help prevent music piracy and leaks, which often occur due to Friday release dates in Australia and Germany.
But, not everyone is looking forward to the change. Founder of Beggar’s Group, Martin Millis, worries that the date change will impact the independent community. Millis questions the IFIP’s decision to get rid of “one of the trading week’s two peaks, and the ability to re-stock and rectify errors before the week’s second peak.”
He also questions the IFIP’s consultation with the industry, telling Music Week that it has been “…a charade, and the market leaders were always going to push this through.” Millis expressed his fear that “this move will also lead to a market in which the mainstream dominates, and the niche, which can be tomorrow’s mainstream, is further marginalised. I fear it will further cement the dominance of the few – and that that is exactly what it is intended to do.”
The Beggar’s Group founder’s concerns were also asserted by Billboard in August. Not only will the global release date change make it more difficult for artists to organized appearances around album release dates, it also raises concerns around rearranging scheduling for physical releases and restructuring global charts.
Some US retailers, like Target, are threatening to stop selling music due to the change.