July 10 will mark the introduction of New Music Fridays; an aligned global release day for new music. From such date, new music will be released on Fridays at 0:01 local time around the world.
But why is this happening? Who was responsible for making the decision? And what are the consequences for the music industry?
What does New Music Fridays actually mean?
New Music Fridays is another term for Global Release Day. Up until now, music has been released on different days in various countries, from Mondays in France and the UK to Fridays in Australia and Germany. This will change on July 10 when new music will be released on Fridays at 00:01 local time around the world.
As a music fan, why should I care about it?
First and foremost, it means fans can now get new music on the same day worldwide rather than having to wait for their own national release day, putting an end to fans being unable to access music in their own country when it is legally available elsewhere.
New Music Fridays is also an opportunity 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.
Who made this decision?
The switch to Friday has been the result of discussions since summer 2014 between major and independent record labels, digital and physical retailers, artist representatives, musicians unions and chart operators. Those consultations were facilitated by IFPI,who represent the recording industry worldwide and first proposed the global release day plan.
Why on a Friday?
Consumer research across eight different countries showed that, when asked what day they most wanted to access new releases, fans overwhelmingly preferred the start of the weekend (i.e. Friday and Saturday). Friday is also the day when consumers have more opportunities for shopping in-store and more time for going online. It’s also the time of the greatest activity on social media, helping amplify the buzz around new releases everywhere.
How will it affect the charts?
The UK's Official Charts, compiled by the Official Charts Company and broadcast on BBC Radio 1, will move to a new slot hosted by Greg James every Friday between 4-6pm. The full Official Singles and Albums Chart Top 100 and accompanying genre and format breakdown charts will be published on OfficialCharts.com from 6pm Fridays.
How will the switchover work in the week of July 10th?
The Official Charts will be announced in its traditional Sunday slot for the last time on July 5, ending a 28-year chapter of broadcasting history and the dawn of an exciting new era for the chart. The Official Singles Chart and Official Albums Chart (and many other genre charts besides) have been announced every Sunday afternoon since moving from Tuesday lunchtime in October 1987.
How many countries will make be making the change?
The move to New Music Fridays will take place in more than 45 recorded music markets worldwide. Of these, only 11 countries currently release music on Fridays, the others will be switching the day new albums and singles become available.
Will the change affect both digital and physical releases?
Yes, both digital (i.e. downloads from iTunes, or streaming services such as Spotify), and physical (CDs, vinyl, etc) will be included. Long form video format is not currently covered in the project, although - when available for new release music - labels may choose to release it on the same day.
Will artists and labels be able to release on other days if they want to?
Yes, release days are not legally binding in any given market, so it is possible that some artists and labels may choose to launch individual albums or singles on different days. In some markets, such as Japan, local repertoire may be released on a separate day. But the intention is that all international repertoire will be released on Fridays across the world.