The era of multiple release days for albums and records based on country is soon to be a thing of the past, as the Recording Industry is set to shift toward a universal Friday release day. This morning, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) head Frances Moore detailed plans of the change in a statement signaling a major move for all record labels both major and independent.
Currently, new releases in the United States hit the shelves on Tuesday, while in the United Kingdom release day falls on a Monday. For example, Speedy Ortiz’ upcoming Carpark Records LP Foil Deer drops April 20 in the UK, and the following day here in the States.
Billboard reports that the change is likely to be implemented this summer, and Pitchfork notes that Friday was selected as a means to maximize consumer traffic, both in traditional retail and online, and to align with pay days.
Here’s the statement from Moore of the IFPI, which represents labels worldwide:
Music fans live in the digital world of today Their love for new music doesn’t recognise national borders. They want music when it’s available on the internet — not when it’s ready to be released in their country. An aligned global release day puts an end to the frustration of not being able to access releases in their country when the music is available in another country.”
Implementing this project across markets worldwide is going to be no small task. We asked our IFPI national groups to form working groups just for this task when discussions started last summer. Retailers, chart companies, labels and artists need to be involved. The key tasks of these working groups will include: adapting the charts to a Friday release for countries that presently have a different day; managing the process and system changes between different parties in the supply chain; marketing and branding so that there is a clear brand and consumer awareness around Global Release Day; and dealing with glitches that will inevitably arise during the process of the switchover.
Pitchfork also relays word that the Department of Record Stores and American Association of Independent Music, was pushing to not only keep Tuesday as the current US release date, but also make it the global standard.
“A2IM supports the concept of a global street date but, for a variety of business reasons as spelled out in our previous comments, there are a number of business hurdles that make Fridays less optimal for the United States marketplace, and independents in particular,” says A2IM head Rich Bengloff. “That said, as part of the worldwide music community, A2IM will endeavor to make the transition as smooth as possible for our members and our commerce partners and a success for our artists’ fans.”