The record industry is set to adopt Friday as the global release day for new albums, Billboard reports. The change will take place this summer.
Under the current system, a record typically has multiple release dates tied to each region. For example, Blur‘s new album, The Magic Whip, will be out April 27 internationally (a Monday) and April 28 in the U.S. (a Tuesday).
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents 1300 record companies around the world, detailed the plan in a statement. Friday was selected as the universal date because Fridays and Saturdays are when consumer traffic—in real life and online—is at its highest. Combating piracy was also cited as a reason for the switch.
In the statement, IFPI head Frances Moore wrote about the steps needed to enact the new plan:
Implementing this project across markets worldwide is going to be no small task. We asked our IFPI national groups to form working groups just for this task when discussions started last summer. Retailers, chart companies, labels and artists need to be involved. The key tasks of these working groups will include: adapting the charts to a Friday release for countries that presently have a different day; managing the process and system changes between different parties in the supply chain; marketing and branding so that there is a clear brand and consumer awareness around Global Release Day; and dealing with glitches that will inevitably arise during the process of the switchover.
Billboard reports that the Department of Record Stores, which represents independent record stores in the U.S. and Canada, and the American Association of Independent Music, which represents American independent labels, had pushed to adopt Tuesday—the current U.S. release date—as the global standard. A2IM head Rich Bengloff said, “A2IM supports the concept of a global street date but, for a variety of business reasons as spelled out in our previous comments, there are a number of business hurdles that make Fridays less optimal for the United States marketplace, and independents in particular. That said, as part of the worldwide music community, A2IM will endeavor to make the transition as smooth as possible for our members and our commerce partners and a success for our artists’ fans.”