For any music enthusiast, Fridays can be a handful. As thrilling as it can be, it can also be overwhelming and tiring. That’s because of the bulk of new music that drops that day. The imperative question becomes, how did we get here? When did Friday become the stated day for release of new music.
Like all events, there’s a story behind that. However, the simple and most cogent reason remains that due to the fact that streaming platforms update their playlist and feed on Friday, artistes see the need to release songs on that day, so their works do not get lost in the myriad of songs.
The truth is that music Fridays creates anxiety on all parts. On the part of the audience, it’s how tiring and overwhelming the day promises to be. For the artiste, especially the unpopular and seemingly unknown ones, it’s the palpable fear that their work might get lost in the melee.
However, it was not like this. Before we got here, there was no given day to release music. Basically, everything was geared towards ensuring that artistes can get the best out of the attention the audience feeds the song. Labels worked against the clock to ensure that their artistes, especially the big ones were out of the music radar on those days of massive releases.
In a newsletter, Listen Africa writes, “Some labels and artists would release music on Fridays because of the idea that people are more likely to consume more music over the weekends, when they are at home. “
In Europe, the switch was necessitated by certain events, first the release date for music in the UK was Monday, while the US released new music on Tuesday. However, with one country getting music before the other, piracy became a big deal. A situation which meant less revenue for the artiste.
Also with the rise of the Billboard Charts and the playlist from Thursday to Friday, artistes were certain of wider audience consumption and greater streaming numbers.
For Nigeria, the idea of a given day for music, when artistes released songs was borne on when their label or marketer wanted them to. This was in the 90s and early 2000s. Note that at this time, physical copies in form of CDs were the in-thing and of course, piracy was a big market.
While streaming platforms have a huge role to play in eradicating the idea of Music Fridays, artistes need to comprehend the huge stakes surrounding releasing music on this day. They must realize that as much as it might get them streams, it keeps the audience on their toes. It is especially worse for new artistes whose music might just get a touch and never a definitive comeback.
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The Way Forward
Artistes and labels must drum it into their sub-conscious that music Friday is not necessary. Growing up, we heard the popular phrase, ‘Dare to be Different’. Following trends and copying the tradition makes you no different. Release music when you think is good for you and your fans will follow through.
Some young and upcoming artistes have no idea why they release music on Fridays. They just know it’s what happens in the game, and like all tradition, they are not questioned, just followed blindly.
In essence release music because you dare to be different, not because you want playlists and chart inclusions. If Fridays are good for you, release that day, but do not make it a thumb rule. Dare to be different!
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