The record industry will adopt Friday as the global album release day, Billboard reports. The decision will eliminate the current standard, in which release days are divided by country (it's Tuesday in the US and Monday in the UK).
It's all because of piracy and Beyoncé
"[Music fans] want music when it's available on the internet — not when it's ready to be released in their country," International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) head Frances Moore told Billboard. "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." Of course, for those who don't care about legality, so does the internet.
Pushback to the decision has been strong. The industry has been considering Friday as the global release day for months now, and criticism has not slowed with the official decision. Beggars Group founder Martin Mills said earlier this week that a global release day may further marginalize unknown artists already struggling to sell albums. Rich Bengloff, head of the American Association of Independent Music, said in a statement that there are "a number of business hurdles that make Fridays less optimal for the United States marketplace, and independents in particular."
Billboard reports that the industry settled on Friday in part because of piracy and Beyoncé. Australia and Germany have both adopted a Friday release date, which the recording industry says has spurred more aggressive digital piracy. Albums are pirated immediately after release, which means sales may suffer in countries with Monday and Tuesday release dates. Beyoncé's massively popular 2013 self-titled surprise album was released on a Friday. So was Drake's recent record-breaking mixtape, If You're Reading This, It's Too Late.
The shift will take place this summer
This ignores the fact that albums often leak before their physical release, and that most musicians are not Beyoncé, whose album-selling power is hard to match. Beyond a statement from IFPI that claims people like to listen to new music on Fridays, it's unclear if there is actually any evidence that a Friday release day will boost record sales.
The shift will reportedly take place this summer.