The Countdown is On to Make Friday the Global Release Day for New Music

Releasing new music on this planet is chaotic. Some countries put out new stuff on Monday (UK and France), Tuesday (Canada and the US), Wednesdays (Japan) and Friday (Germany, Australia and nine others).

In the days when physical releases ruled, this wasn’t such a big deal. But now that everything is digital and music files can whip around the world in fractions of a second, a Monday release of a major artist in the UK can impact sales in other territories. Clearly, something has to be done.

And so, 27 days from today–July 10–there will be a big switchover at 12:01am (local time) which will lock all new releases to the same day in 45 different countries. No more national release days.

The industry would appreciate if if you began referring to Fridays as “#NewMusicFridays.” From a press release issued by the IFPI, the international record label organization

“New Music Fridays” are an opportunity for artists and labels to maximise awareness of newly- released music. 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. This can help create more excitement and a sense of occasion around the release of new albums and singles.

With just one month to go before “New Music Fridays” takes effect, today sees the unveiling of the “New Music Fridays” brand that will accompany the move. It will be available in more than 10 languages worldwide.

Consumers looking for information on the switch to a Friday release day can visit www.newmusicfridays.com which has all the details of the changes taking places

This is a bigger and more complex move than it might seem on the surface. Manufacturing and supply chains have to be revamped. Marketing plans will have to be re-timed. Retailers (both bricks-and-mortar and online) have to change their ingest and stocking processes.

It’ll be interesting to see how radio adjusts. This is how many of us have structured our week.

  • Monday: Clean up after the weekend and prepare for the week ahead.
  • Tuesday: Receive visits from record label representatives. Gather new music. Prepare for the music meeting.
  • Wednesday:  Music meeting. Decide what songs to add and which songs to drop from the playlist.
  • Thursday: Enter data on new songs into the music systems.
  • Friday: New songs start appearing on the air.

I have no idea if there will be any changes to this workflow. But we’ll see this summer, won’t we?

 

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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