The proposed change to a global streetdate of Friday is receiving pushback from a coalition of independent record stores.
When the IFPI has announced that the industry is considering a global Friday streetdate, a spokesman told Billboard that the Friday streetdate is not a done deal, and that the merits of which date should serve as the global street date are still being debated.
Well, here comes the debate. In an e-mail to the industry, The Department of Record Stores -- which is comprised of small indie regional chains in the U.S. and Canada with a total of about 100 stores -- agrees that a universal street date would be a positive change, but instead of sticking to the script, the coalition proposes that the rest of the world move to the current U.S. day: Tuesday.
"The worldwide change should be made in a positive way and it should be done to maximize opportunities to increase sales for all retail partners," the note said. Tuesday would be the least disruptive, argues The Dept., because North America and the U.K. are the world's largest markets for music, and so the Tuesday street date used by Canada and the U.S. would mean that only the U.K. would need to move up its street date, currently Monday.
The next-best worldwide street date is Wednesday, according to Department of Record Stores' Michael Kurtz, who added in his e-mail that "Friday is the worst choice for a worldwide streetdate," because it will require costly changes and would lead to less sales.
Even though some top industry executives say the debate is still ongoing, others say it is a done deal -- that it will be Friday, even if the majors and IFPI are not publicly acknowledging so.