Goodbye New Music Fridays? Tyler, The Creator Calls for Industry Change

Tyler, The Creator recently called for more music journalism, less gossip-y, sensation pieces in an interview with journalist Nardwuar, as well as calling out New Music Fridays, suggesting “we should put music out again on Tuesdays instead of Fridays.”

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“I know people think because of the weekend they can listen and stuff, and streams go up,” he continued. “I think it’s a lot of passive listening at parties, or [when] people get the time to go to the gym, so they’re not really listening.”

New music releases switched from Tuesdays to Fridays in 2015, a global move that was embraced by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the International Federation of Music (FIM). After the summer of 2015, new music was released at 12:01am on Fridays instead of Tuesdays in the U.S., and Sundays and Mondays in the U.K. The goal, according to a report from NME at the time, was to harness the power of social media for promotion and also to reduce the chances of album pirating between differing release dates.

But, Tyler, The Creator, as well as other artists, are looking to get back to New Music Tuesdays. Some are already doing it, ignoring the global release day and dropping their albums whenever they want. For example, Tim McGraw and Wilder Blue both recently put out music on Tuesday, November 21, McGraw with the EP Poet’s Résumé, and Wilder Blue with their album Super Natural. Additionally, Mike and the Moonpies released their 2021 album One to Grow On on Tuesday, August 10.

Tyler, The Creator is championing weekday releases because, according to him, listeners can more deeply delve into an album when they’re on their way to work or school. “You really have that hour or thirty minutes to really ‘dive in’ and really listen because you know once that’s over you’ve got to get to work,” he said. The time crunch leads to deeper listening—you want to use your commute time wisely, and not waste it only half listening.

[RELATED: The 10 Best Tyler, The Creator Songs]

So, if New Music Tuesdays were so beneficial, why the shift to Friday? Mostly, it was because of the sharp turn to digital music and streaming in 2015. More people moved to Spotify and Apple Music to get their tunes, and the staggered release dates across the globe were doing more harm than good. But, that’s when you account for huge pop artists like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, or Drake, among others. Smaller, emerging artists didn’t really benefit from the change, and they still aren’t.

According to Matador Records founder Chris Lombardi, in a 2016 report from Wired, emerging artists usually get more traffic on Thursdays, before all the big releases. “[The Friday release date] clogs media,” said Lombardi at the time. “You’re gonna be competing with stuff with a massive campaign behind it: lots of advertising, lots of editorial real estate on blogs and newspapers and magazines.”

Tyler, The Creator also commented on midnight releases, calling them “disrespectful” and mentioning the fact that most people are either asleep or getting ready to go to sleep during that time.

“To work on an album for so long, and put so much energy into it, for it to be released at midnight just seems so disrespectful,” he said. When albums are released at midnight, it’s almost like everyone is already late to the party. No one gets it until the next day, at least if they still like analog media. Maybe some people stay up all night to listen to the newest release, but then, as Tyler, The Creator said, are they really listening?

There’s also a desert of good music journalism, he said, and a bounty of click-baity, sensationalized articles and talk shows surrounding music. “We need to stop fucking going sneaker shopping or fucking deep-throating hot wings for an hour,” he said. “Talk about your album. Talk about music. Talk about the 15 songs that you guys have spent time to get mixed and mastered and put your heart into and produced and did all these things.”

He continued, “And then when the album comes out and it sells two copies, everyone’s confused. But it’s like, they don’t want to talk about the music or the album; they’d rather fucking go eat chicken wings and sneaker shopping.”

(Featured Image by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Black Music Action Coalition )

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