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Music industry may move release day to Friday, worldwide

by Ian Chainey


I put together the weekly Upcoming Metal Releases at Invisible Oranges. Not to get too first-world-complain-y, but it can be a pain. With staggered release dates across the world (UK: Mondays, US: Tuesdays, Black metal: DGAF), my Excel tracking sheet ends up looking like a string board on The Wire. I end up having more corrections than a Prince-written essay on proper grammar.

So the announcement on Billboard that major labels and their partnerships are looking to shift to a global street date occurring weekly on Fridays sounds pretty good on the surface. (Kanye West: Yeah, duh.) The reason for the change is to thwart piracy, which makes sense if you subscribe to the logic that the first receiver is the first leaker. Torrents have made the world smaller and faster, so this gives artists in the laggy US market a chance to pack on some moved units.

Of course, there are downsides. It could further hurt on-the-street retailers and smaller labels. According to Billboard:

While sources say that digital music service providers like the Friday street date, not all physical merchants have given the change their blessing; some indie labels and indie merchants are opposed to having the global street date on Friday. They say they like the concept of having street dates early in the week because they feel it helps sell more CDs — devout customers of an artist will come in on Tuesday while others will come in on payday, which is usually at the end of the week. Yet, in the end, brick-and-mortar stores and indie labels may not have much say in picking which day of the week functions as the global street date.

That and charts might have to be reconfigured to better track total sales, which is probably causing Casey Kasem to utter a downpour of curses in the afterlife.

Still, this won’t happen for a bit. As of now, the biz is eying July 2015 for the change to Friday.

The Tweeds – “I Need That Record”

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