Music Industry to Standardize Album Release Date

Music Industry to Standardize Album Release Date

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In an attempt to crack down on piracy, the music industry is considering the solution of releasing albums on the same day worldwide. Currently, different countries release new albums on different days, a process that would be standardized by this new method of releasing them all on the same day. For example, Ireland and Australia release new albums on Fridays, the U.K. releases them on Mondays, and the U.S. releases on Tuesdays. So fans of a certain artist in Australia or Ireland get that artist’s album four full days before a fan in the U.S. does. These days were arbitrarily picked based on which day is best for that country’s market. The standardized release date would ensure that there will be only hours, not days, between each country’s album release. It would also limit the amount of global piracy which occurs within hours after an album is dropped in a country with an earlier release date. By lowering the amount of illegal downloads, music industry sales should see an increase in their numbers.

The suggested standardized release date is Friday. According to Billboard, both the RIAA and IFPI, as well as digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon are all in full support of the idea. The downside would be disadvantageous marketing for the artist. Currently, an artist who wants to promote his or her album can do so via a high profile appearance in each country on the day it is released. If every country has only one release date, the artist can only promote it once.  One record label executive told Billboard, “This global street date is necessary for the industry, but unfortunately it will be awkward for the physical retailers to change their ways of doing business. Now, they could have two-thirds of their sales in one day.” So corporate conglomerates like iTunes and Amazon shouldn’t be too affected by this, whereas mom-and-pop shops selling records will definitely feel the effects of the time crunch.

The initial idea stemmed from Australia changing its release day to Friday, which spiked music piracy. The standardization could happen as soon as July of 2015, but there are still discrepancies about how music charts will be calculated. Stay tuned to find out more on FDRMX.