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ERA boss outlines case for Monday to be Global Release Day

By | Published on Friday 28 November 2014


Entertainment Retailers Association boss Kim Bayley has written a blog post further detailing why the organisation and its counterparts Stateside are now pushing for Monday to be the Global Release Day, rather than Friday, as proposed by the major labels.

Currently new releases hit stores – physical and digital – on different days around the world. In the UK, of course, we take Monday. Meanwhile, the US goes for Tuesday and Australia Friday. Both retailers and labels are in agreement that all countries moving to one single release day is a good idea, but which day that should be has been debated since the move was proposed earlier this year.

As previously reported, earlier this week ERA and a number of US retail groups announced that they were now all in agreement that Monday was the day that would work best for everyone.

“Gut reaction and an unswerving conviction that you are right may be an admirable trait in an A&R man, but it fails to cut the mustard in the more pragmatic commercial business of music retailing”, wrote Bayley yesterday. “That’s the key to ERA’s objections to the major record company-sponsored plan to enforce a worldwide Friday release date from next summer. Our view is that the numbers simply don’t add up”.

Amongst the arguments she put forward are that, contrary to some claims, there would be considerable risks and costs involved in the UK and US moving from early-in-the-week release days to Friday. In part, this would be due to losing release-day sales boosts in an otherwise quiet part of the week, as well as the increased costs of having to have extra stock delivered at weekends.

“On costs, our research was clear”, she said. “Taking additional staff and delivery costs into account, a switch to Friday would need to generate a minimum of £8 million in additional retail sales a year just for retailers to break even, ie in a market which is clearly falling we would need an increase of £8 million just to stand still (and that’s without the additional costs to the record companies themselves which would inevitably be passed on to retail)”.

Questioning the IFPI’s predictions of the sales boost a Friday release day would deliver, Bayley notes that the label trade group itself concedes that 95% of the perceived benefits of a Friday release could also be achieved on a Monday.

And so, even if the ERA is not confident in the IFPI’s numbers in general, she concluded: “For us it’s a no brainer: if we can capture 95% of the benefit with none of the costs, why would anyone even consider a Friday? Adding risk and cost for a minimal benefit just doesn’t make sense”.

Read Bayley’s blog post in full here.