Friday marks the kickoff of New Music Fridays, an effort to coordinate new music releases (singles and albums) in more than 45 countries on a single day of the week. Today, major artists including Owl City, Tyrese and Kidz Bop will release new albums internationally.
Until now, new music has typically been released on different days: Mondays in Britain and France, Tuesdays in the U.S., Wednesdays in Japan and Fridays in Germany and Australia. In fact, Alex Jacob of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry says in China, local artists often jump from day to day: “Artists like to release on a particularly auspicious date. Eight is a particularly lucky number, so an 8th or an 18th or a 28th.”
The IFPI has worked for years to pull together record labels, trade groups and music artists to adopt Friday as the new single day for new releases worldwide. Music will now be available for online download and streaming from multiple platforms, as well as available for purchase in CD and record form at brick-and-mortar stores, on Fridays, just after midnight local time, in each market.
Jacob says the goal is to boost social media buzz and music sales, and also to discourage piracy. He says in the old system, someone could download songs earlier in one country than another, and then share the music without permission online.
Kansas City singer-guitarist Samantha Fish releases her newest album, “Wild Heart,” on the German-based Ruf Records label today. (It’s available on iTunes and Amazon.) She describes her style as blues-Americana-rock-roots. She says initially she was confused by the Friday release of her album, since she associates Tuesday with “street day,” the day music hits record stores (and now online sites for sale and download).
She’s cautiously optimistic about the new coordinated release day. “It’s probably going to help sales with the stores and distributors,” she says. “I think that’s the idea.”
Some industry critics have worried that the new single global release day will disadvantage smaller independent labels and artists, and be most helpful to major labels and artists with mega-marketing machines.
Fish says she and many artists she knows make most of their money touring, performing and selling CDs after shows from the stage. But she says any boost she does get in online and record-store sales from the new global release day will be welcome.
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