New Music Fridays Are Here–and Not Everyone Is Happy About It

Today–July 10, 2015–is a historic day in the music industry. It’s the first New Music Friday, meaning that forty-five countries (including Canada) will now offer up new releases online and in stores as of 12:01am local time.  This is the culmination of many, many months of negotiations designed to bring a little more order to when new music gets dropped on the public. Universal Music created this short promo.

A couple of thoughts from me on New Musc Fridays:

  • Now that everything will come out on the same day globally, it’ll be interesting to see how this will affect sales and chart positions.
  • But let’s be honest: what percentage of the general public really knows what day of the week music gets released? Music nerds know, but what about the vast majority of punters out there? For them, new music comes out whenever they sign onto iTunes or walk into a record store.
  • Speaking of music nerds, how will indie music stores and their customers fare? These retailers are worried that a Friday release day will ruin store traffic for the rest of the week.
  • How long will New Music Fridays last? All it could take to bring this all down is a major label deciding to break the agreed-upon street day and release something early–like, say, a Wednesday, just like the movie studios cheat with Wednesday releases ahead of a long weekend.
  • Speaking of movies, new DVDs and new on-demand movies will continue to be released on Tuesdays. They have to. These releases will never be allowed to compete with first-run theatrical releases which hit theatres on Fridays.
  • And Noel Gallagher isn’t happy about this. Apparently no one asked him about when he should release his music.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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