01.02.15

Global release date announced – AIM comment

Following the announcement that Friday has been chosen as the day on which music will be released globally, AIM has issued the below statement:

In November 2014, we added AIM’s voice to that of ERA, representing the UK retail sector, expressing grave concern that for a number of reasons, Friday was not an optimal day for new releases.

Despite the valid concerns from retailers supported by hard evidence of the potential costs and operational issues of a Friday release day, Friday has now been selected as the Global Release Day.

For digital retailers there is a degree of flexibility, although everyone of you knows that there could be issues with data supplied to, say, iTunes which could prevent your new releases being made available on the site until after the weekend. Physical stores have identified many other operational issues causing potential loss of sales and increased cost over the weekend.

What is being ignored is the continuing strength of physical retail. This seems to be an attempt to hammer another nail in the coffin of physical retail and drive the music business full speed towards a single digital format. This ignores the trends in other countries, for example Germany and Norway. Germany has maintained a strong physical market, its digital business is growing steadily, and Germany is now comfortably ahead of the UK in sales. Norway opted for the digital model and the market fell overall as a result.

Physical and digital business can live happily side by side but there must be a commitment from suppliers to keeping our retail partners and our consumers supplied with a wide choice of music – as they do in Germany.

The indie sector needs albums, needs stores and needs exposure to thrive, and all are threatened with the changes to the charts and to the retail landscape.

Read Martin Mills’ speech, in full, below. Martin is a passionate advocate of the indie sector and his speech is an eloquent analysis of the the current market distortions designed to drive the biggest artists at the expense of new artists.

Martin Mills: New Billboard chart risks dumbing down music

We support a Global Release Day, but not Friday. Now that this decision has been pushed through, we will help our members to adjust their businesses to maximise opportunities, but we will also keep monitoring the market and suspect we will be revisiting this over the next few months as the effect of globalisation is likely to hurt our sector.