Now that the major record labels have officially announced that they are moving to a Friday release day, the time for debating the logistics behind what the move could entail is over -- it's time to make some decisions.
With the move to a Friday street date, the IFPI and the RIAA expect the Billboard charts, powered by Nielsen Music, and the U.K charts, produced by the Official Charts Company, to change their reporting dates in order to accommodate the move.
As it is now in the U.S., the chart-eligible sales week runs from Monday through Sunday at midnight, with most retailers electronically transmitting their sales data feeds from the Sunday/Monday overnight through early Tuesday. Nielsen Music and Billboard then process and review the data for an early Wednesday release of sales charts on Nielsen's client platforms and a Thursday morning release of all charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, on billboard.com.
So in the U.S. the questions become: Will the seven-day chart week now end on Wednesday night or Thursday night? And how will that shift affect the official chart release dates for Nielsen and Billboard?