The record industry will now release its albums on Fridays, and a major reason for the shift is online piracy.
In the UK, album releases currently occur on Monday, while in the US they happen on Tuesday. That’s set to change this summer with a universal shift to a Global Release Day of Friday (at 00:01, to be precise).
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents music labels around the world, announced the news, as well as the reasoning behind it.
According to Frances Moore of the IFPI, shifting to a global release day for new albums “narrows the gap on piracy.” It does so by ensuring that people can get new releases in their country, rather than having to wait for their own launch slot.
Another technologically minded reason for the shift to Friday is that Fridays and Saturdays are when social media activity is at its highest, meaning that there’s a better chance of creating some buzz around a new album.
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There’s also the simple fact that Fridays and Saturdays are when physical and online retailers experience the most footfall or traffic, so it’s simply common sense to position new releases at the beginning of this two day period.
This is a bigger project than it first seems, involving the alignment of record company efforts across more than 50 countries. Despite the upheaval it will cause, and concerns that indie releases will be lost in the scrum, Moore claims that “there has been no credible alternative to a Friday proposed that would work at the global level.”