For years, albums have come out on the same day of the week, depending on where in the world you live. In the U.S., it’s always on a Tuesday, while U.K. music fans get new albums on Mondays. All that could change very soon, though: in an effort to curb music piracy, record companies and distributors have apparently agreed to set a global street date for all music releases. The change, which would see albums get released on Fridays, would take effect in July 2015.
The varying international street dates have allowed labels to focus promotional pushes for artists in different countries, but this has also unintentionally contributed to the widespread piracy of new releases. For example, a new release in Australia (which already has a Friday street date for albums) could end up being spread around on file sharing services for three days before it is officially released in Britain or the United States.
While labels, digital retailers, and the RIAA are all on board with this plan, brick-and-mortar record retailers are pushing back against the global street date, saying that it could negatively impact their sales. One unnamed label executive admitted as much to Billboard. “This global streetdate is necessary for the industry but unfortunately it will be awkward for the physical retailers to change their ways of doing business,” the executive said. “Now, they could have two-thirds of their sales in one day, which could really impact retail operations.”