You'll have to change your music-buying habits starting this summer, because new albums are going to be released every Friday at exactly 00:01, instead of Tuesdays like you're used to. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents music labels worldwide, has just announced that Friday is now global album release day. Why? Well, the IFPI is hoping that it can help curb piracy: "An aligned global release day puts an end to the frustration of not being able to access releases in their country when the music is available in another country."
The group also looked at studies of consumer behavior, which found that people usually shop from both brick-and-mortar retailers and online stores during Fridays and Saturdays. And, since a lot of people don't work on weekends, they're more susceptible to impulse buying -- which is good news for labels and bad news for music lovers with zero self-control. Finally, social media websites see the most traffic during weekends, and labels plan to take advantage of that to spread word about new releases. Cue the beginning of a brand new Twitter hashtag: #NewMusicFriday.
The IFPI, by the way, didn't make this decision on a whim. It's been meeting with record labels and retailers for the past seven months. See, it was prompted to consider a global release schedule, in part due to Beyonce's surprise album drop in 2013, which will likely never happen again under this new rule. Of course, not everyone's happy with this decision. Martin Mills, founder of Beggars Group (a group of indie records) told Billboard: "I fear this move will also lead to a market in which the mainstream dominates, and the niche, which can be tomorrow's mainstream, is further marginalized. I fear it will further cement the dominance of the few -- and that is exactly what it is intended to do." But the decision is now written in stone, and the IFPI is just waiting for music charts to come up with a new way to tally album sales.
(PS: Wondering why new music is released on Tuesdays, in the first place? According to NPR, it's a combination of reasons, including the fact that releasing on Tuesdays means albums have already been out for a week before their sales are recorded by Billboard.)