All New Albums Will Be Released On Fridays: Did Anyone Notice?

Image courtesy of (Adam Fagen)

At some point in the last 25 years or so, you’ve probably anticipated a new album release from a favorite artist and made a special midweek trip to the store to buy it. This might be an unfamiliar ritual to our younger readers, but was a thing that people did…until this week. Starting today, labels worldwide will all release their new albums on Fridays.

That leads to the inevitable question: will anyone notice the change? NPR reports that sales of whole albums are down, but people are using paid streaming services to listen to more music. While it’s good to know what day a new release drops on Pandora, Spotify, or Apple Music, that doesn’t really have the same significance of lining up outside of your favorite record store to get the album in your hands.

Tuesday releases are a relic of the time when all music came on physical discs and tapes, and the stores had to make sure that they had new releases in stock from their suppliers and ready to go. Other countries had Mondays and Fridays as their release days: Tuesday is just what the industry decided on here in the United States.

The owner of one independent record store pointed out to NPR that Tuesday releases are great for his business: they bring customers in midweek. His store planned concerts, promotions, and their advertising around Tuesday releases. Switching to Fridays means that the store’s traffic pattern will change, and so will its staff schedules and promotional activities.

The consistent worldwide day solves one problem: different release days in different countries make it super-easy for people to make copies and share them online. It’s a little surprising that music labels got around to solving this fifteen-year-old problem now, but at least they did.

Goodbye, Music Tuesday: Starting Today, Albums Come Out On Friday [NPR]

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