New Music Fridays

Frequently Asked Questions

Did you know that the way new albums and singles get released has changed? From July 10th 2015, new music now comes out on the same day everywhere in the world. So, wherever you are in the world, whatever your music tastes, Friday is the day for New Music!

See below for more information about how New Music Fridays affects you:

The switchover to New Music Fridays happened on 10th July 2015. From that date new music is now released on Fridays at 00:01 local time around the world. This FAQ gives more information about the project for artists, labels, retailers, journalists and others involved in the music industry.

What are ‘New Music Fridays’?

‘New Music Fridays’ are the name for the new global release day for new music. Up until now, new albums and singles came out on different days in different countries. From July 2015 that changed – new albums and singles now come out on the same day worldwide – Fridays.

So, wherever you are in the world, whatever your music tastes, FRIDAY IS THE DAY FOR NEW MUSIC!

When did ‘New Music Fridays’ start?

Albums and singles are now released worldwide on Fridays from 10th July 2015. This means fans around the world can experience, talk about and enjoy new music at the same time as each other every week.

Why did the change happen?

In today’s digital world the old system of national release days didn’t make sense. For example, a music fan in France was able to get a new album on a Monday, but a fan in Germany had to wait until Friday before the same album was available. Now new releases are available to everyone on the same day, wherever they are in the world.

Will every single global album and single release be on Fridays from now on?

There will always be exceptions to the rule, as there are today with national release days. But the large majority of global releases now occur on a Friday.

Will all these changes affect the charts?

Yes, in countries that have switched release day it is likely that the charts now appear on a new day so that they capture a full week’s sales and streaming. In the UK, for example, the charts have moved from a Sunday to a Friday.

Where can I get more details about digital music services?

www.pro-music.org provides a comprehensive list of licensed digital music services in markets around the world, detailing whether they are download stores, subscription services or advertising-supported platforms.

Where can I find out more information about what’s going on?

Keep an eye out for #newmusicfridays on social media.

What are “New Music Fridays”?

New Music Fridays is another term for the aligned global release day for new albums and singles. Up until now, music had been released on different days in various countries, from Mondays in France and the UK to Fridays in Australia and Germany. That changed on July 10th 2015 and new music is now released on Fridays at 00:01 local time around the world.

What are the benefits of “New Music Fridays”?

First and foremost, it means fans can now get new music on the same day worldwide rather than having to wait for their own national release day. It puts an end to fans being unable to access music in their own country when it is legally available elsewhere.

“New Music Fridays” are also an opportunity to maximise awareness of newly-released music. Whatever country they are in, fans will now know – Friday is not just the start of the weekend – it’s the day for new music!

Who is behind “New Music Fridays”?

The switch to global “New Music Fridays” has been the result of discussions since summer 2014 including major and independent record companies, digital and physical retailers, artist representatives, musicians unions and chart operators. Those consultations were facilitated by IFPI, the organisation representing the recording industry worldwide, which first proposed the global release day plan on behalf of its members. A full list of organisations participating on this international steering group can be found on our About page

How do I find out more information about how it works in my country?

Implementation plans have been made by cross-sector working groups in each national market. For further information contact the relevant recording industry organisation in your country – e.g. RIAA in the US; BPI in the UK; SNEP in France, BVMI in Germany etc. You can also contact national trade organisations representing independent labels and retailers, such as AIM and ERA in the UK and A2iM and Music Biz in the US. The international trade bodies representing record companies, IFPI and Impala/WIN, can also help.

Why was Friday chosen?

Several factors favoured a Friday as the global release day. Consumer research across eight different national music markets showed that, when asked what day they most wanted to access new releases, fans overwhelmingly preferred the start of the weekend – i.e. Friday and Saturday. Friday is also the day when consumers have more opportunities for shopping in-store and more time for going online. It’s also the time of the greatest activity on social media, helping amplify the buzz around new releases everywhere.

How many countries will make be making the change?

The move to “New Music Fridays” was established in more than 45 recorded music markets worldwide. Of these, only 11 countries already released music on Fridays, the others switched the day new albums and singles become available.

Will the change affect both digital and physical releases?

Yes, both digital (i.e. paid downloads from iTunes, or streaming services such as Spotify), and physical (e.g. CDs, vinyl) will be included. Long form video format is not currently covered in the project, although – when available for new release music – labels may choose to release it on the same day.

Will artists and labels be able to release on other days if they want to?

Yes, release days are not legally binding in any given market, so it is possible that some artists and labels may choose to launch individual albums or singles on different days. In some markets, such as Japan, local repertoire may be released on a separate day. But the intention is that all international repertoire will be released on Fridays across the world.

What impact will “New Music Fridays” have on the charts?

Most countries have a public music chart and these are generally linked to reporting a full weeks’ sales of leading albums and singles. So, changing a country’s release day to Friday usually means changing the cycle of the chart week as well. Record labels, retailers and chart companies have been discussing this in many countries in preparation for the switchover on July 10th.

Does having a Friday release day mean that shops might run out of stock over the weekend?

It is possible there may be some challenges during the transition period, but these should not last. The best indication of that is the experience of those countries that have already shifted their release day to Fridays, most notably Germany and Australia, where no such problems were reported. Many retailers use state of the art vendor managed inventory systems which all but eliminate such problems.

Is every country participating in “New Music Fridays”?

Yes, wherever you are in the world you will find international releases are made available by digital services and physical stores on Fridays. In some countries, particularly in Asia, certain local albums or singles may be released on different days. In Japan, domestic repertoire will continue to be released on Wednesdays while international releases have moved to Friday. Many countries in Asia do not have the tradition of national release days. Some artists like to release albums on dates they view as auspicious.

How will the switchover work in the week of July 10th?

For countries that will be moving their release date from another day, it will mean either releasing music twice in that week or having a longer gap between their last old release day in the previous week and the 10th July.