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Australian Music Retailers Association supports Friday as global release day

By | Published on Wednesday 15 October 2014

Global Release Day

The trade body which represents Australian record shops has backed plans to make Friday the weekly release day for music the world over. Though given that records already come out on a Friday down there, it’s not exactly going to inconvenience them.

As previously reported, the IFPI is currently in discussions to standardise the day of the week that music is released worldwide, with Friday leading from the outset. However, this has not been without controversy. US indie label trade body A2IM and retailer Target have opposed moving to Friday (the release day in America is currently Tuesday, of course), while the UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association says that the labels are yet to present any compelling research – or, actually, any research at all – that supports Friday as the big global sales day.

But that lack of evidence is something that the Australian Music Retailers Association is now disputing, on the grounds that Australia already changed its release day from Sunday to Friday in 2006 and it all turned out great. Like, marvellously good.

“[It] made sense for the Australian industry then and it makes sense for the global industry now”, AMRA Executive Director Ian Harvey told Billboard. “The decision to move to the Friday release date in Australia was not based on numbers and empirical evidence as [ERA Director General] Kim Bayley suggests it should be, but on the belief that retailers had to meet the needs of their customers and that for those customers Friday, Saturday and Sunday are shopping days”.

On concerns over the logistics and costs of making the change, he added: “We picked the smallest sales week of the year to make the change (mid/late January) and we prepared at both record company and record store level over the previous six months. No one complained, no one said there were increased costs, no one baulked at the idea because there were logistical issues and the implementation went off without a hitch”.

Responding, Bayley at ERA told CMU: “We are grateful for the input of the Australian Music Retailers Association and note their statement that their decision to embrace a switch to a Friday release date was ‘not based on numbers and empirical evidence’ but on a ‘belief’ that it was a good idea. We would be very interested in any evidence that the switch to Friday in Australia has had any measurable benefits to justify that belief”.

She added: “Our position remains that with music sales sharply down in 2014 we would happily agree to a switch in release dates if there was a clear benefit, but without evidence of such a benefit, it is difficult to understand why the major record companies seem so determined to pursue this move”.