Music Industry Agrees To Release New Albums On The Same Day Worldwide In Anti-Piracy Effort

This is what us old folks know as a "vinyl record." (Great Beyond)

This is what us old folks know as a “vinyl record.” (Great Beyond)

Gone are the days of envying music fans in other countries who get their hands on new albums before the rest of the world: In an effort to cut down on piracy, representatives of the music industry say they’ve come to an agreement to release new albums on the same day worldwide, Friday, instead of different countries releasing music on different days of the week.

As it stands right now, albums are usually released on Monday in Britain in France, Tuesday in the United States, Wednesday in Japan and Friday in Australia and Germany, notes the AFP.

So if someone in Germany can’t wait until Friday to get their hands on music released in the U.S. on Tuesday, that person might seek it elsewhere on the Internet, increasing the chances for piracy.

Groups representing music retailers, record companies and artists said that after working on the issue for nine months, album releases would now be coordinated to go out everywhere each Friday at one minute past midnight local time. The new system is expected to go into effect by summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

“What is absolutely clear is that there is nearly unanimous agreement that a global release date is a good thing,” Frances Moore, chief executive officer of the the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry told the AFP.

The global release date will liven up the industry, Moore says, by cutting down on that three- or four-day gap that exists now.

“So now they won’t have to go looking on a pirate site — we are focusing them on the legitimate market,” she said, referencing those impatient consumers who might be tempted to go the illegal download route.

Retailers in the U.S. might not be so pleased with the Friday global release date, as Tuesdays are otherwise slow days and releasing albums that day gives the new music plenty of time to arrive over the weekend.

This also doesn’t prevent artists from suddenly releasing albums without warning whenever they want to, like artists Beyonce, Madonna and Drake have done recently to either avoid leaks or in response to them.

As such, anyone who doesn’t want to go with the Friday release date won’t face legal ramifications, Moore added.

“There could be an artist or individual producer who decides at some point they’re not going on that day… but there is a clear majority in favor of doing this, and I think eventually it will be aligned,” she said.

Music industry moves to Friday global album release [AFP]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.