What is the best day to release music?
By Maxence Pepin22 May, 2023
Releasing a new music project can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience for artists. One of the most important decisions to make is choosing the release day. It may seem trivial, but the day that you release your music can have a significant impact on its success. In this article, we will explore the different factors that can influence the decision, and provide insights on how to choose the best day for your release.
Understanding the importance of release day
Release day is a critical moment for artists. It is the day that all your hard work and creativity becomes available for your audience to experience. It is also the day that sets the tone for the rest of your promotional campaign. A successful release day can create buzz, generate media coverage and social media engagement, and ultimately drive chart performance.
The impact on chart performance
Chart performance is a key metric for measuring the success of a music release. The day that you release your music can have an impact on your chart positioning. For example, if you release your music on a Friday, you have more time to accumulate streams over the weekend when people tend to have more free time. This can give you an advantage over releases that come out on other days of the week. However, it's not just about the day - other factors such as the competition, genre, and marketing strategy all play a role in chart success.
Maximizing audience engagement
The release day is also an opportunity to engage with your audience and increase the buzz around your project. By releasing on a day when your fans are most active on social media and streaming platforms, you can increase the chances of your music being shared and talked about online. It's important to think about the time of day as well - releasing at midnight for your timezone may not be the best approach if most of your audience is in a different timezone.
Aligning with industry practices
Finally, the release day plays a role in aligning with industry practices. Certain genres have traditional release days that have been established over time, and releasing on a different day can be seen as breaking with tradition. It's also important to consider industry events such as awards shows, festivals, or concerts that may impact the marketing and promotion of your release. By aligning with industry practices, you can increase the chances of your music being noticed by industry professionals and media outlets.
Analyzing the traditional release days
There are two main traditional release days in the music industry - Tuesday and Friday. Let's take a closer look at the history of each day, and the pros and cons of releasing on them.
The history of Tuesday releases
For many years, Tuesday was the go-to release day for the music industry in the U.S. It was established in 1989 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as a standardized release day. The idea was to give record stores a consistent day of the week to plan their inventory and sales, and to avoid the disruption that came with staggered release schedules. For a while, Tuesday releases were the norm across all genres.
The shift to Friday releases
In 2015, after years of lobbying by the music industry, the global release day was changed from Tuesday to Friday. The idea was to create a more level playing field for all countries, and to drive more weekend sales and streaming. Friday releases have become the norm in the U.S., U.K., and many other countries.
Pros and cons of each day
Tuesday releases have the advantage of being a more established tradition, which can offer some level of predictability in terms of chart performance and fan engagement. There is also less competition to contend with, as fewer artists release on Tuesdays these days. However, the downside is that Tuesday releases may not perform as well on streaming platforms, as they don't have the advantage of an upcoming weekend to accumulate plays.
Friday releases have the advantage of being the most popular release day worldwide, which can generate more media coverage and social media buzz. There is also the potential for more weekend streams, which can lead to higher chart positioning. However, the downside is that there is also more competition to contend with, as many artists release on Fridays.
Factors to consider when choosing a release day
Now that we've covered the history and pros and cons of each release day, let's explore the different factors to consider when making your decision.
Your target audience's listening habits
One of the most important factors to consider is your target audience's listening habits. For example, if your audience is predominantly teenagers, you may want to release on a Friday when they are out of school and more likely to stream and share your music. If your audience is older or more focused on physical sales, Tuesday may be a better fit.
Competing releases and events
It's also important to consider the competition and events happening around your release. Are there any big albums or singles coming out on the same day that could divert attention away from your project? Is there a major event like the Grammys happening on the same week that could impact media coverage? By being aware of these factors, you can plan your release strategy accordingly.
Seasonal trends in music consumption
Music consumption trends can vary throughout the year, depending on seasonal events like holidays, festivals, and sports seasons. For example, summer is typically a high-consumption period for music, as people attend festivals and listen to music during travel and outdoor activities. By releasing your music during a season with higher music consumption, you can increase your chances of connecting with your audience.
Promotional strategies and resources
Finally, you need to consider your promotional strategies and resources. Do you have a strong social media presence and network to promote your release? Are you planning to invest in advertising or influencer partnerships? Depending on your resources and budget, you may need to adjust your release day to align with your promotional goals.
The role of streaming platforms in release day decisions
Streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal have become a key factor in release day decisions. Let's take a closer look at how to leverage their features for your release.
Spotify's Release Radar
Spotify's Release Radar is a personalized playlist that shows users new releases from artists they follow or listen to. By releasing your music on a Friday, you can increase the chances of being included in your fans' Release Radar playlists the following week. You can also leverage Spotify's pre-save feature to encourage fans to save your release to their libraries before it comes out.
Apple Music's New Music Daily
Apple Music's New Music Daily is a playlist that features the best new music releases of the day. By releasing your music on a Friday, you can increase the chances of being featured on this playlist, and reaching a wider audience. You can also leverage Apple Music's editorial team and Connect feature to promote your release to fans and media.
Tidal's Rising Artists
Tidal's Rising Artists is a curated playlist that showcases up-and-coming artists. By releasing your music on a Tuesday, when the playlist updates, you can increase the chances of being featured and discovered by Tidal's audience. You can also leverage Tidal's exclusive content and artist support programs to promote your release.
How to leverage these features for your release
To leverage these streaming platform features, you need to plan your release strategy accordingly. Make sure you release on the right day to align with the playlist update schedule, and encourage your fans to follow your profile and pre-save or pre-order your release. You should also reach out to the editorial teams and support programs for each platform to see if they are interested in featuring your music.
Choosing the best release day for your music can be a complex and strategic decision. You need to consider your target audience, the competition, seasonal trends, and promotional resources, as well as aligning with industry practices and utilizing streaming platform features. By weighing these factors and making an informed decision, you can increase the chances of a successful release and chart performance.