Starting this summer, albums will come out on Fridays. As American record nerds know, albums currently come out in the U.S. on Tuesdays, but drop in Europe a day earlier on Monday. (Dates in other regions can vary dramatically as well.) Now, in a decision made by the somewhat mysterious-sounding International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, all records everywhere around the world will come out on Fridays.
The move is intended to combat piracy, a major concern of the 1300 labels involved in the switch. After all, if someone in the Czech Republic gets a record on a Sunday and puts it online, it doesn’t matter that it’s not out for five days in Brazil, let’s say. The move is also intended to spur sales, as consumer activity peaks on Friday and Saturday, both in brick and mortar stores and online.
Interestingly, both the American and Canadian Department Of Record Stores and the American Association Of Independent Music were pushing the IFPI to adopt Tuesday as the global standard. A2IM head Rich Bengloff told Billboard that “there are a number of business hurdles that make Fridays less optimal for the United States marketplace and independents in particular.” Beggars Group chairman Mike Mills told the publication he fears “the 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 fears] it will further cement the dominance of the few—and that is exactly what it is intended to do.” Spooky.