The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has formally announced that July 10 will mark the beginning of the "global release day" on Fridays as part of an agreement between 45 nations involved.
The move covers all formats: CDs, vinyl, digital downloads and streaming.
"Consumers were telling us via different pieces of research done across many countries that Fridays and Saturdays was when they wanted new music and that's what has led this campaign," said Frances Moore, CEO of the IFPI. "We're hoping that with more consumers in stores on Fridays and Saturdays, which stores tell us leads to increase impulse buying, and with peak activity on most social media [typically taking place over the weekend], will all lead to an increase in sales."
Albums traditionally come out on Tuesdays in the United States and Canada, on Wednesday in Japan and on Mondays in Britain and France. Some countries, like Japan, will preserve their traditional release date, but most will adhere to the new system.
The IFPI hopes this shift away from unique release days in different countries will increase sales, create a sense of occasion and limit piracy.
"The move will mean fans can now get new music on the same day worldwide rather than having to wait for their own national release day," the IFPI said in its announcement. "It puts an end to fans being unable to access music in their own country when it is legally available elsewhere, and the frustration that can cause."
Several U.S. retailers question the wisdom behind the switch, fearing that it will further homogenize the industry and make it increasingly difficult for underground artists to break out. “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,” said Beggars Group founder and CEO Martin Mills. “I fear it will further cement the dominance of the few—and that is exactly what it is intended to do.’’
To mark the announcement, the IFPI released a logo and website for "New Music Fridays," hoping to create a buzz among music buyers.