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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    New music Tuesdays

    “New music Tuesdays” are simply a fact of life in the US, like 112-degree summers and poor road maintenance in Tucson. Just check any album release date — it will probably be on a Tuesday.

    As it turns out, no one is really sure why albums are released on Tuesdays. National Public Radio investigated this very question in 2010, and concluded that the main identifiable reason is Billboard’s release of sales charts on Wednesdays. Releasing an album on Tuesday gives it a full week to garner sales before the next Billboard figures are put out.

    This follows the same marketing suit as Hollywood, since new movies are released on Fridays, partly to allow for the “opening weekend” measurement of a movie’s success. According to music industry trivia site, another logistical reason for Tuesday releases was simply a standardized release date so that no retailer had an advantage over others. New albums are shipped on Monday and sold on Tuesday — a slow day for retail stores — which ensures that everyone is on the same schedule.

    While getting every major record label to agree to this seems challenging, the recording industry was fairly unified even before the formation of mega-conglomerates like Time Warner and Sony BMG. The Recording Industry Association of America has been the de facto governing body of the major record labels since 1952. If there is one thing the RIAA likes, it is having things run to a standard — their standard — so a decision like this would be well within their power.

    As always in the record industry, it is sales figures and fiscal concerns that seem to have spawned this decision. In this age of digital downloads and self-publishing, the Tuesday album release exists out of nothing more than respect for tradition. We shouldn’t complain, though. What else do we have to look forward to on a Tuesday morning?

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