Business News Retail

Retailers call for a Monday global release day

By | Published on Wednesday 26 November 2014

Global Release Day

Music retail groups from around the world yesterday announced that they were now officially lobbying for Monday to become the ‘global release day’, and are therefore opposing plans by the major record companies to start putting out new releases on Fridays worldwide.

As previously reported, the majors’ global trade body the IFPI is currently pushing for all the labels and entertainment retailers of the world to release new music on the same day. Currently release days are spread across the week globally, with the UK taking Monday, the US Tuesday and Australia going all the way down to Friday. And the majors seem set on adopting the Aussie release day worldwide.

For their part, the retailers pretty much all agree that a global release day makes sense in the web age where artists routinely speak to their fans around the world as one, but they are not so convinced by the labels’ choice of Friday. The US-based Department Of Record Stores was first to question the logic of the week-end release day, while the UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association called on the labels to provide evidence that a shift to Friday worldwide could result in a sales uplift sufficient to compensate for the disruption the move would cause.

Presumably said evidence is yet to materialise, because yesterday ERA and the Department Of Record Stores joined up with other US-based retail groups like the Alliance of Independent Media Stores and Coalition Of Independent Music Stores, as well as some key indie retailers and distributors and, perhaps most interestingly, the US and UK’s indie label trade groups to call for Monday to be adopted as the global release day.

The various groups said: “We agree that aligning new music releases on a single day around the world could be beneficial for the music business, sending a clear message to consumers, enabling more coordinated and powerful marketing and promotions and combating release week piracy resulting from different street dates. Agreeing to the concept of a Global Release Day is a separate issue to the decision as to which day it should be, however. We do not agree that Friday is the best day for such a move”.

It goes on: “A move to a Friday would unfortunately entail additional costs for many in the industry. We believe that while these costs are easily calculable, tangible costs, the forecasted beneficial revenue effects of a Global Release Day are inconclusive and subject to a range of opinions. More and more global releases have been coming out on a Monday and the industry has proven that it can handle these with no additional cost. Based on a detailed review of the challenges and opportunities of the shift to a single day, we strongly endorse a worldwide Monday street date for music and reject the proposed move to Friday”.

Lending her group’s support to the Monday release day proposal, Kim Bayley of ERA told reporters: “The evidence suggests that virtually all the benefits of a Global Release Date can be captured on a Monday without any additional costs. It is a no-brainer. The potential to create a New Music Monday focusing all of the industry’s marketing efforts at the beginning of the week is very exciting”.

Meanwhile Association Of Independent Music boss Alison Wenham added: “Supporting independent retailers is a core principal of independent record companies, and we work together very closely. If the retailers’ view is that Monday is the best day for new releases, why would we argue otherwise? They are after all the experts in retail”.