New music to be released on Fridays worldwide from this summer

Every country will now adopt a standardised release day, in an attempt to create ‘a sense of occasion around the release of new music’

Friday on my mind … Release day switches from start of the week to end of the week. Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian

The strange situation whereby music fans in different countries got new music on different days is over. From this summer, there will be a standardised worldwide music release day of Friday.

“As well as helping music fans, the move will benefit artists who want to harness social media to promote their new music,” the worldwide body representing the recording industry, the IFPI, said. “It also creates the opportunity to reignite excitement and a sense of occasion around the release of new music.”

Currently, UK releases come on a Monday, with US releases following a day later. From now on, new albums and singles will be released at 00:01 on Fridays. The decision to standardise the day followed consultation with artists, musicians’ unions, record companies and retailers.

“A global release day has the potential to build additional excitement around the release of new music,” said Mike Batt, chairman of the Dramatico label, which launched Katie Melua. “Artists today communicate with their fans on a global scale through platforms such as Twitter. To be able to promote their new albums and singles to fans worldwide simultaneously will be a great advantage. Fans are also more likely to be online and in-store on the weekend, so it makes sense to have our new releases out on Friday and ready for them.”

However, some powerful voices have been opposed to the change. Speaking earlier this week, Martin Mills – head of the Beggars Group, the UK’s largest independent – warned that it would marginalise niche music. “Whilst I acknowledge the needs of a digital world for co-ordination, it seems to me to be crazy to throw away one of the trading week’s two peaks, and the ability to restock and rectify errors before the week’s second peak,” Mills said.

“It astounds me that the major labels are not listening to their customers, their interface with their artists’ fans. I fear their consultation has been a charade, and the market leaders were always going to push this through. 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 marginalised. I fear it will further cement the dominance of the few – and that that is exactly what it is intended to do.”

This article is from the Guardian Website


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