Looks like Friday is the new Tuesday— at least for the music industry. In America, Tuesday has traditionally been the day that new albums drop. But in Europe, records are usually released on Mondays. So in order make everything more consistent, the somewhat obsolete-sounding International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has decided Friday would be the universal global release day.
This change will be implemented beginning this summer. IFPI hopes that a universal release day will cut down on piracy since right now consumers can illegally download albums before the records are actually released in their country. The organization also pointed to a study which found that consumers prefer to hear music on Fridays and Saturdays.
"Music fans live in the digital world of today," wrote IFPI head Frances Moore. "Their love for new music doesn't recognize 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."
But it looks like Friday is not a day everyone agrees upon. The American and Canadian Department Of Record Stores, which is an affiliation of independent record stores, wanted Tuesday to be the official global day of new music. And Beggards Group chairman Martin Mills stated that the move would just make the powerful more powerful.
"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 marginalized," he said. "I fear it will further cement the dominance of the few -- and that is exactly what it is intended to do."
But overall, the change won't affect most consumers so dramatically. As NPR points out, there was no real reason for music to be released on Tuesday in the first place. But this new universal policy will definitely prevent surprise album releases. From Beyonce to Drake, dropping albums unannounced has become a sort publicity stunt and artistic statement in its own right. And with more and more artists opting out of traditional record deals, this new rule may just propel artists to find even more creative ways around the standardized corporate music structure.
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