Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

After several months of discussions, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has officially declared Fridays as the release day for all new music albums. In today’s digital era, music listeners want to have access to albums the moment they are available anywhere in the world. Rather than staggering the releases on different days in different countries, the universal release approach aims to combat piracy. There is no word yet on when this new distribution model will take effect.

musicAccording to The New York Times, Frances Moore, chief executive of the global trade group, released a statement in which she states that music fans “want music when it’s available on the Internet — not when it’s ready to be released in their country.”

Release days traditionally vary by geographic locations. For example, in the U.S., most new albums are released on Tuesdays, whereas in Japan, new albums hit store shelves one day later.

Having finally agreed to make Friday the universal release day on all new albums, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry believes this decision “will reduce piracy and align listeners around the world,” NYT reports.

The trade group’s decision to go with Friday was determined with input of the labels, distributors and major retailers. The global release day is also supported by major retailers and digital platforms including Target, iTunes and Spotify.

Still, the trade group’s decision has not gone well with independent retailers. A Friday release day could be especially challenging for small retailers when having “to restock a popular title over the weekend,” NYT explains.

The federation is said to be working with chart managers, such as Billboard, to redefine the opening week sales period that usually extends from Tuesday through the end of the week.