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June 11, 2015 | Music Notes Blog

Friday July 10th Is A New Day For Music Fans

Starting July 10th, new music will be released on Fridays in 45 countries throughout the world.

For as long as any of us can remember, new music was released in the United States on Tuesdays. The various rationales for that particular day of the week may have made sense a generation ago, but that was for a different music marketplace that looks nothing like the one we occupy today.

Fast forward to 2015 and it’s a brave new world, with numerous challenges and untold opportunity. Physical formats like CDs and vinyl still retain devout fans. All while an exciting array of digital services — downloads, audio and video streaming, Internet radio, music loaded onto your mobile phone, on and on — have become the primary ways that fans consume music. This has all happened at a breathtaking pace, driven by changes in technology platforms and how fans now listen to their favorite artists.

Like so much of modern life, the borders between countries have broken down with the advent of the Internet. Marketing buzz generated by the labels we represent — and the ensuing appetite it builds for today’s artists — does not stop at national borders. Music has become more global than ever, and fans eagerly discover, share and inform their friends and followers of their favorite artists through a variety of social media platforms. Fans demand instant access to their favorite artists and newly discovered songs. As my colleague Frances Moore at IFPI put it:

“In today’s connected world, it simply makes no sense that an album could be released in Australia on a Friday, but not be available in the UK until the following Monday, or in the US until the subsequent Tuesday.”

We can’t do business and serve fans based on a decades-old distribution system. We have to rethink everything.

That includes when music is released. Starting July 10th, new music will be released on Fridays in 45 countries throughout the world. The beginning of the weekend is fans’ favorite time of the week and we hope to tap into that excitement with new music. On top of that, consumer research across multiple markets, including the United States, shows Fridays and Saturdays as the most preferred days for new music releases. With this change, the objective is to better leverage weekend foot traffic in retail outlets and harness the growing buzz behind a new album or song that builds across national markets.

Change is never easy. There will be challenges that we need to work through. We have worked collaboratively and constructively on this initiative with a wide array of industry partners and will continue to do so.

Fans will find a variety of new music releases at physical and digital retail outlets on July 10th. A sampling: Hunter Hunted, Kidz Bop 29, NINA REVISITED: A Tribute To Nina Simone, Owl City, R5, Tyrese and Years and Years. There will be #newmusicFridays branding and online buzz generated by individual artists and labels with releases coming out. In addition, a new website was launched this morning — — for consumers looking for information on the switch to a Friday release day.

As the summer progresses and we build into fall and the busy holiday season, the growing slate of additional releases in stores and online should give fans even more reason for excitement. This is only the start.

Beginning Friday July 10th, it’s a new day for music fans.

Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, RIAA