Published Aug 12, 2014If you're the kind of music fan who avidly follows the arrival of new albums, you will have noticed that release dates tend to be staggered around the globe. This may change, however, as reports indicate that the record industry is moving towards a standard global release day.
Currently, albums come out on Tuesdays here in North America, on Mondays in the UK, and on Fridays in Australia. According to Billboard's sources, this will likely soon change, with all releases coming out on Fridays. This will probably come into effect in July 2015.
The major labels are apparently on board, along with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the Recording Industry Association of America. Some sources, however, say the deal isn't yet set in stone.
The main reason for the change, unsurprisingly, is to cut down on piracy. Under the current system, even if an album doesn't leak before its release date, it will come out in certain territories before others and will inevitably end up on the internet. This is particularly a problem due to Australia's releases coming on Fridays, several days earlier than the rest of the world.
There is a lot of restructuring that will have to take place before the new system can be instated, which is why we'll have to wait a year before it takes effect. Distribution schedules will have to be overhauled, and music charts may have to be altered.
There are a few downsides of course: it will be more difficult for artists to do territory-specific release day promotions, and some stores are apparently opposed to Fridays because they feel that Monday or Tuesday releases help to encourage sales throughout the week.
The new system still isn't confirmed, so keep an eye out for further developments.