The Meaning Behind #NewMusicFriday

This post's title makes it sound much deeper than it's meant to be, but it's fair to wonder why Friday has been designated as the day to discover new music. Why Friday?

Well, here in the UK, the new standings of the Official Charts used to be released on Sundays. That changed in the summer of 2015, when it was altered so that the charts would now be released on Friday evenings. Though this move was initially met with backlash, with people complaining that being at work on Fridays meant they couldn't listen to the Radio 1 show on which the charts were initially announced, it has stuck around and become the norm in the last few years.

However, this wasn't just a UK thing, for the UK's changes were just a small part of a global alteration to music releases. "The move will coincide with a shift by the global music industry to a new synchronised music release day of Friday, also starting this summer", said the Official Charts Company at the time. All over the world, Friday became the day on which worldwide charts were released.

Scott Mills counts down the UK Top 40 Singles at 4pm every Friday on BBC Radio 1.

With these adjustments came a shift in release days. Naturally, bands and their record labels in particular want to achieve the highest amount of chart success possible, so the vast majority of music, especially albums, is now released on Fridays, giving them the best chance - a full week of sales - to place highly on the charts. Of the five albums we have reviewed in 2020 so far on Up to Eleven, all five were released on Fridays.

The changes in 2015 led to a worldwide synchronisation of the music industry, with Friday, for whatever reason, being the day chosen for chart releases. In order to achieve as much success as possible, the majority of new music is now released on Fridays, so they can use the full week to gain sales. This is how we have ended up with #NewMusicFriday.

Is it a good or a bad thing? Well, it's good that the music industry has come together as one on an international scale, but Friday seems like a slightly odd choice. Is it because the weekend immediately follows, so people can quickly go out and buy the new releases? That seems a bizarre reasoning to put forward in the digital age; however, physical media is on the rise, particularly vinyl, and 2016 marked the start of the vinyl boom. Was the switch to Friday releases not long beforehand a part of this? It's impossible to say, but it may have been a factor.

So there you go - #NewMusicFriday is the result of a global music industry synchronisation. Do you take part in the trend, and more importantly, what are you listening to today? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter - links are in the footer of this page.