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Should You Release Music on Friday: The Pros & Cons of Releasing Music at Week’s End

Releasing music on a Friday may or may not give you a one-up from others
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“New Music Fridays” are a weekly celebration across the music industry. Music professionals all around the globe celebrate the release of their new single, EP, or album.

But is it the best day to release music? Why does the music industry release music on Fridays? Should you release your music on Friday?

Well, in this blog post, we’re going to talk about all of the above to help you decide if you should release your music on Fridays, as well as why the music industry releases on Fridays.

The Debate Over Releasing Music on Friday

There has always been a looming question in the music industry about what day of the week artists should release their music on. Some people argue that releasing it on a Friday is best because there are more listeners who are able to listen to the music then. This is mostly because people are tuned in and ready to listen to the newly released music. Furthermore, Spotify pushes out its Release Radar and updates in New Music Friday playlist on Fridays.

But other music professionals argue that releasing on a Monday is better because the music will be fresh in fans’ minds and there won’t be as much saturation from the swath of releases from the Friday before.

Why does the music industry release music on Fridays?

Prior to the summer of 2015, the music business in the US was set on Tuesdays for new releases.

But after the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the organization that represents record labels around the globe, conducted a survey with consumers the release day changed to Fridays. The study concluded that a majority of consumers prefer to listen to new music on Fridays and Saturdays instead of Tuesdays.

“Music fans live in the digital world of today,” IFPI’s head Frances Moore said in a statement at the time. “Their love for new music doesn’t recognize national borders. They want music when it’s available on the internet—not when it’s ready to be released in their country. 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.”

Having a standard release day and time each week was aimed at curbing the piracy plague that hurt the music industry for years. Tracks released in France on Tuesday but not until Friday in the US meant that fans would illegally download that music before it was available to them through iTunes, Spotify, or any other digital service provider. When the track was finally released, consumers wouldn’t purchase it because they already downloaded it, albeit illegally. 

Releasing on a Friday will give you the best shot of charting

If you want the best shot at charting on Billboard, you’ll want to drop your tunes on Friday. Billboard tracks sales from Friday to Thursday each week. So by releasing on Friday, you’re getting in on day one to hopefully chart the next week.

“Traditionally, the labels are playing the chart game,” Chris Anokute, Young Forever Inc’s founder and A&R, told Complex. “They’re looking for a certain amount of the market share that week or that month. Sometimes it’s for vanity and ego. They want to say, ‘We just debuted at the top of the charts because we put out the video, single, and went to radio the same week. From Friday to Thursday, we got all this consumption, which gave us a better chart position.’”

The global shift to Friday releases means streaming platforms also changed

Once the shift from Tuesdays to Fridays happened, streaming services followed suit. Streaming services have used their curation of editorial playlists to encourage artists to release music on Fridays so they have a shot at being included in those playlists. After all, who wouldn’t want a shot at being included in Spotify’s coveted New Music Friday playlist?

What is the best day to release music?

There are many factors to consider, such as what day of the week you are releasing new music, and what time of year it is. Typically, though, the best day to release music is the day that works for you.

When releasing new music, it’s also a good idea to consider the genre for your release. For example, dance music typically does well on Fridays. Rock music, however, may see more success on Wednesday.

Note the above criteria as well. Are you aiming to be included in Apple or Spotify’s editorial playlists? Release on Friday. Are you looking to chart on Billboard and check that box off of your musical resume? Release on Friday.

Cons of Releasing Music on Fridays

Releases on Fridays have caused a mixed response from artists and listeners. Some of the reasons that listeners have given as to why they prefer releases on Fridays are that they are not as busy on Fridays, they are more likely to listen to music when they are in their cars, and that it is easier for them to discover new music.

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