Ever since the 1980s, new albums have hit stores in the US on Tuesdays—but that's about to change. Soon, the US and the rest of the world will unite in releasing albums on Fridays, Mashable reports. Frances Moore, head of record-label group the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, says the international alignment "is what our consumers want. Music fans live in the digital world of today … They want music when it’s available on the Internet— not when it’s ready to be released in their country." What's more, she notes, the shift will allow for global anticipation of new releases, and perhaps it will cut down on piracy spawned when listeners illegally download material that hasn't yet appeared in their home countries.
Tuesday was originally chosen in an effort to be fair, Mashable notes via a 2006 book by Gavin Edwards. The goal was to ensure all stores, no matter how big or small or where they were located, could sell albums on the same day, even though some might receive the albums earlier than others. "We figured if people got the product on Monday, they could sell it on Tuesday. And even if distributors got it on Friday, they couldn’t get it on sale in stores over the weekend," an exec says in the book. Friday was picked as the new day, Moore writes, after market research showed customers wanted weekend releases. But a leading figure among Britain's independent labels raises concern, the Guardian reports; he fears "a market in which the mainstream dominates, and the niche ... is further marginalized." (It doesn't get much more mainstream than an artist who's topped the charts for six straight decades.)