In August, it was reported that the music industry had its eye on a Friday global release day that would take effect July 2015. Now that proposition is getting some pushback from a cohort of retailers and indie record labels, who are endorsing a Monday over a Friday street date.
In an announcement made Tuesday (Nov. 25), organizations including the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), Amoeba Music, Newbury Comics, Rough Trade U.K. and U.S., and Redeye Distribution agree to the concept of a global release day — they just want it on a different day.
This news follows opposition to a Friday date first broached in September, when Target spokeswoman Jill Hornbacher said her company believed Tuesday worked best for retail synchronization and logistical reasons, which were echoed by A2IM head Rich Bengloff. “It aligns with all the other entertainment properties in North America,” she said. “Our guests have come to know that they can find new movies, new music and video games on that day.”
“The evidence suggests that virtually all the benefits of a Global Release Date can be captured on a Monday without any additional costs,” Kim Bayley, director general of the Entertainment Retailers Association, said in a statement. “It is a no-brainer. The potential to create a New Music Monday focusing all of the industry’s marketing efforts at the beginning of the week is very exciting.”
The idea of a universal release date was initially floated to combat piracy: Australia currently has a Friday street date, which means digital piracy begins almost immediately once the new release is shared across the Web before fans in the U.K. (which has a Monday street date) or the U.S. (Tuesday) have a chance to purchase the music legally. Advocates for releasing albums in the beginning of the week point out that it would cost less than releasing them on Friday, as many labels already release albums, tracks, etc. on Monday. (Even though, as Australian Music Retailers Association executive director Ian Harvey told Billboard, the costs and logistics of moving to a Friday release date were “non-issues.”)
Added Alison Wenham, chairman and CEO of the Association of Independent Music, “Supporting independent retailers is a core principal of independent record companies, and we work together very closely. If the retailers’ view is that Monday is the best day for new releases — why would we argue otherwise? They are after all the experts in retail.”
The Department of Record Stores also endorses a Monday release date, as they initially argued that a Tuesday street date allows for errors in shipping and ordering that a Friday release date does not. Plus, a Monday/Tuesday release gives stores time to restock for the weekend in case an order gets lost in transit, a record is bigger than expected, or if a record happens to explode upon its release.