“New Music Fridays” — FAQ for those working in the industry

Do you have questions about the upcoming changeover to a new single worldwide release day, New Music Friday? Our good friend Jay Gilbert from Label Logic shared this FAQ document with us.

The switchover to New Music Fridays will happen on 10th July 2015. From that date new music will be released on Fridays at 00:01 local time around the world.This FAQ gives more information about the project for artists, labels, retailers, journalists and others involved in the music industry.

What are “New Music Fridays”?

New Music Fridays are another term for the aligned global release day for new albums and singles.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.That will change on July 10th when new music will be released on Fridays at 00:01 local time around the world.

What are the benefits of “New Music Fridays”?

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.It puts an end to fans being unable to access music in their own country when it is legally available elsewhere.

“New Music Fridays” are 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 is behind “New Music Fridays”?

The switch to global “New Music Fridays” has been the result of discussions since summer 2014 including major and independent record companies, digital and physical retailers, artist representatives, musicians unions and chart operators.Those consultations were facilitated by IFPI, the organisation representing the recording industry worldwide, which first proposed the global release day plan on behalf of its members.A full list of organisations participating on this international steering group can be seen at www.newmusicfridays.com

How do I find out more information about how it will work in my country?

Implementation plans have been made by cross-sector working groups in each national market.For further information contact the relevant recording industry organisation in your country — e.g. RIAA in the US; BPI in the UK; SNEP in France, BVMI in Germany etc.You can also contact national trade organisations representing independent labels and retailers, such as AIM and ERA in the UK and A2iM and Music Biz in the US.The international trade bodies representing record companies, IFPI and Impala/WIN, can also help.

Why was Friday chosen?

Several factors favoured a Friday as the global release day.Consumer research across eight different national music markets 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 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. paid downloads from iTunes, or streaming services such as Spotify), and physical (e.g. CDs, vinyl) 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.

What impact will “New Music Fridays” have on the charts?

Most countries have a public music chart and these are generally linked to reporting a full weeks’ sales of leading albums and singles.So, changing a country’s release day to Friday usually means changing the cycle of the chart week as well.Record labels, retailers and chart companies have been discussing this in many countries in preparation for the switchover on July 10th.

Does having a Friday release day mean that shops might run out of stock over the weekend?

It is possible there may be some challenges during the transition period, but these should not last.The best indication of that is the experience of those countries that have already shifted their release day to Fridays, most notably Germany and Australia, where no such problems were reported.Many retailers use state of the art vendor managed inventory systems which all but eliminate such problems.

Is every country participating in “New Music Fridays”?

Yes, wherever you are in the world you will find international releases are made available by digital services and physical stores on Fridays.In some countries, particularly in Asia, certain local albums or singles may be released on different days.In Japan, domestic repertoire will continue to be released on Wednesdays while international releases move to Friday. Many countries in Asia do now have the tradition of national release days. Some artists like to release albums on dates they view as auspicious.

How will the switchover work in the week of July 10th?

For countries that will be moving their release date from another day, it will mean either releasing music twice in that week or having a longer gap between their last old release day in the previous week and the 10th July.

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Tags: global release day, new music friday, new music release day


Originally published at www.michaelbrandvold.com on June 29, 2015.

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