I’ve mentioned my music retail roots before, and while I can’t imagine ever going back to managing record stores (they’re already on the Endangered Species list), I miss aspects of it. It was cool to experience some of the insider dealings about how the retail aspect of the music industry works, but some business practices really never made much sense to me. For example, Tuesdays are new release days in North America. Why?
I did some digging, and came across this article, which confirmed reasons I’d heard in the past. Allow me to cut to the chase:
Albums used to be released on Tuesdays to take advantage of two factors. The first is that music industry magazines used to come out on Monday thus creating a buzz that consumers would act on the next day. Also according to one source radio stations used to change playlists on Tuesday so while new music was being heard on the radio you could also go to the store and buy the album.
I won’t go off on a rant, but let’s just say that retailers (and labels) need to sell as many records as possible these days. Why would you put new releases in your Sunday adverts, which are designed to bring in business, but tell customers “sorry, you can’t have the Kanye until TUESDAY”? Well, it looks like someone might be coming to their senses on this. Universal Music has announced that they will release blockbuster CDs from the Killers, Ludacris, and Kanye a day early to maximize sales before Thanksgiving and “Black Friday”. Instead of Tuesday the 25th, they’ll hit on Monday the 24th, keeping up with Best Buy’s move to release Guns N Roses’s “Chinese Democracy on the 23rd. Folks, you’ve just seen the first nail in the coffin of Tuesday releases, especially if these four CDs do well. No crystal ball, here…just a guy with a hunch.
[Side note…as I was typing this entry up, “On the Radio” by Martine McCutchen came on my iTunes. While I know that “Radio” is a “signature” Donna Summer song, there is something infectious about this version. Just thought I’d share.]