Update (7/10): It's that time, folks. Today is the first official Friday-release day.
Here are a few titles that dropped today: Veruca Salt's Ghost Notes, British up-and-comers Years & Years' Communion, The-Dream's Crown Jewel, R5's Someone Last Night, Ghostface Killah's Twelve Reasons to Die ll and Cradle of Filth's Hammer of the Witches, to name a few.
Update (6/11): For you good little boys and girls who eagerly await new album release dates (and hopefully that's a good portion of y'all), Friday's about to have even more reason to be your favorite day of the week.
Friday, July 10, 2015 has officially been selected as the kickoff day when, for the first time ever, the world will all collectively make albums new available for purchase. Well, most of the world.
The U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Australia make up some of the 45+ countries on board. But the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry notes that some countries, notably in Asia, will release local music on their own schedules—so your favorite Japanese acts are still releasing on Wednesdays like they are today.
It's a move that's supposed to help prevent international piracy and get more people buying on an already popular shopping day. But many smaller record stores have pointed out that Tuesdays are an additional busy day versus the typically slammed Fridays, giving less hope to the endangered brick-and-mortar record store business.
Original Story (2/26): Fridays are about to become the official international release day for new albums. Until now, the practice has varied from country to country, with Tuesday being the American standby. The decision comes from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Here's the rationale:
"Release days currently vary from one country to another, causing frustration for consumers when music fans in other parts of the world can access new releases before them. As well as helping music fans, the move will benefit artists who want to harness social media to promote their new music. It also creates the opportunity to re-ignite excitement and a sense of occasion around the release of new music. The move to an aligned global release day will also reduce the risk of piracy by narrowing the gap between release days in different countries."
Billboard and Nielsen will presumably update their first-week sales time-frames to reflect the shift. This may also improve the drastically flagging album sales of recent years—Friday equals payday for lots of employed folk, so the potential for weekend impulse buys could conceivably increase. The change will affect both physical and digital releases.
One thing to keep an eye on will be the surprise album tactic, and whether it might go with the with the Friday flow. Recent no-advance-notice drops like Drake's If You're Reading This It's Too Late and Beyoncé's 2013 self-titled each dropped in Friday's wee hours. While each album saw tremendous early sales, the first-week numbers were skewed due to the timing.