Music Industry Gears Up for New Music Friday

If you're used to buying new albums on Tuesdays, you're in for a change. Say hello to New Music Fridays, courtesy of an industry that's finally in harmony on the subject.

As anyone who’s seen a Rebecca Black video can tell you, Friday is a pretty great day of the week.

Starting July 10, it’ll get even better for audiophiles. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has finally set a global drop date for new albums. “New Music Fridays” will align the music industry as a whole and will help allay concerns about piracy just before the release of a new album.

“Whatever country they are in, fans will now know—Friday is not just the start of the weekend—it’s the day for new music,” IFPI said in a news release. “This can help create more excitement and a sense of occasion around the release of new albums and singles.”

Music groups have launched a marketing campaign for the effort, which the industry as a whole is working to get behind. The first artists that will benefit from the campaign, according to Metacritic, include Owl City, Ghostface Killah, and The-Dream.

While the plan is now set, it’s been a challenge to get here. The debate over a global street date first hit the radar last summer: The major record labels wanted Friday, but independent record stores resisted the switch from the traditional Tuesday release. Eventually, the record labels won the argument. Even now, however, the American Association of Independent Music is about to launch Vinyl Tuesday, something of a 45RPM response to the new global street date.

The campaign may be off to a good start, but skeptics say that, given the age of streaming and decades of music piracy, it’s too little, too late. The Guardian‘s Eamonn Forde suggested that single release dates matter less than ever due to pre-release promotions that often lead to much of the album getting out early.

“The harsh reality is that the consumer today is overwhelmed with the amount of music being released. It becomes incrementally harder for them to keep on top of release dates as there is a deluge of new music every week,” Forde wrote.

But IFPI CEO Frances Moore says that the decision was driven not by industry interests but by consumers, who said they wanted such a change, along with the potential for driving fresh buzz.

“Consumers were telling us via different pieces of research done across many countries that Fridays and Saturdays [were] when they wanted new music, and that’s what has led this campaign,” Moore told Billboard. “We’re hoping that with more consumers in stores on Fridays and Saturdays, which stores tell us leads to increase impulse buying, and with peak activity on most social media [typically taking place over the weekend], will all lead to an increase in sales.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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