For the first time ever in the U.S. and the U.K., new albums will soon be released on Fridays.
1. “New music Tuesday,” a staple of the U.S. music industry for decades, is no more. Starting this summer, new albums all over the world will be released on Fridays.
2. The switch is the result of a decision by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI, a massive organization representing music industries around the world.
The idea of a global release date has been a dream in some corners of the music industry for years. As of now, many countries have their own release dates — in the U.S. it’s Tuesday, in the U.K. it’s Monday, and in Australia and Germany it’s Friday — which wasn’t much of a problem before most people started buying and listening to music online. Now, in the age of the internet, social media, and streaming, once an album is available anywhere in the world, people want it everywhere. Releasing music on the same day around the world, the argument goes, will deter eager consumers who won’t wait until an album is released in their country from downloading it illegally.
3. Members and supporters of IFPI, which include the head of the Recording Industry Association of America and Spotify’s chief content officer, argue that Friday is a better time for releasing music since it’s closer to the weekend.
In a statement, IFPI CEO Frances Moore said a majority of respondents to polls in major international markets indicated they would prefer music to be released on a Friday or Saturday, days when they have more free time to shop. In a subsequent interview with Billboard, she said IFPI’s research indicates that there’s a 3% surge in retail foot traffic for music over the weekend.