Media Release: Consumer research among music buyers supports move to Friday release day


SIXTY per cent of consumers who buy or stream newly-released music (and who expressed a preference), favour Saturday or Friday for new music releases, according to an Ipsos MORI survey for the BPI.

A survey of 2,016 British adults (16-75) for music trade body the BPI looked into the day of the week when people would like to see new music released.

The survey was commissioned in October 2014 as part of broad-ranging consultation, but its results can now be revealed following the recorded music industry’s decision to switch to a global release day from Friday, 10th July 2015.

New music has been released on a Monday in the UK for some time, but among the respondents who buy or stream newly-released music and who expressed a preference for it to be released on a specific day, Saturday (37 per cent) came out on top ahead of Friday (23 per cent) as the next favoured option – a significant figure of 60 per cent for the two days combined.

By contrast, only 15 per cent of this group wanted to see releases continue on a Monday, ahead of Sunday (ten per cent), Wednesday (seven per cent) and Tuesday/Thursday (four per cent each).

With artists increasingly promoting new music to fans through global digital services and social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the recorded music industry examined whether it should harmonise new music release days around the world.

New release days have varied around the world for many years – often for historical reasons, ranging from Mondays in the UK and France, through Tuesdays in North America, Wednesdays in Japan to Fridays in Australia, Germany and Ireland.

This has created few issues in the past, but in this post-digital era it has sometimes left music fans in particular countries frustrated at their inability to access specific new releases by their favourite artists that may already be legally available elsewhere.

The international recorded music industry body IFPI therefore proposed Friday as the new global release day – a measure that has since been adopted – and as part of this process the BPI commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake a survey to find out what the British public – and particularly what the music-buying public thinks.

When asked to explain their selections, the most frequently mentioned reasons given by these respondents focused on the fact that it was “the weekend” (36 per cent) and it is “when I have time to listen to new music” (26 per cent).

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) cited “that’s when I have time to look online for what’s new”, while 23 per cent said “that’s when I have time to go shopping”.

The survey also highlighted a degree of confusion regarding the UK’s current release date for new music.

Among those that purchase or stream newly-released music only a third (32 per cent) were able to correctly identify Monday as the official release day, with around four in ten (43 per cent) either unaware there is a specified date or simply answering that they did not know.

Nearly a fifth (17 per cent) believes that music is already released over the Friday to Sunday weekend period.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI and BRIT Awards, comments: “In a business that is increasingly digital and global, the logic for a global release day is compelling. Fans don’t understand why they have to wait to legally access music that has already been released in other countries.

“Unifying the day of release inevitably means some countries are having to switch days, but it makes sense to consider the time of the week when interest in entertainment, digital activity and physical footfall is building towards its peak.

“Fans are telling us they would like new music ready for the weekend, so Friday appears the best choice and it is supported by the research we undertook with consumers.

“We need to do everything we can to serve the fans and build our business around that.”


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Notes to editors

* Some of the respondents from this group may be digital buyers who download single tracks on a Sunday. Digital albums, however, are released on a Monday in the UK, in line with physical albums on CD and vinyl.

About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry)

The BPI was formed in 1973 and is the representative voice of the UK recorded music business.

As a trade organisation we promote recorded music in the UK and worldwide and champion the rights and interests of a broad range of members, including hundreds of independent music labels and companies and the UK’s three major record company groups – Sony Music Entertainment UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK.

In 2013, our members accounted for approximately 90 per cent of all recorded music purchased in the UK – the world’s fourth largest music market. UK artists account for one in every eight albums sold around the globe.

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