If you are an independent artist, deciding when to release your music can be difficult. One thing that is often debated is which day of the week will have the most success for new music releases. Most artists, especially those with large followings and label support release music on Fridays. If you are releasing music independently with a small following, then it may be best to post on another day besides Friday if possible.
Alright, let's get into it! We may not have ALL the answers, but I hope to give you more knowledge and context so that you can find the best answer for your own music.
Why do most artists release new music on Fridays?
As a matter of fact, Tuesdays used to be the US release day, but certain countries weren't on the same page. In order to combat piracy and release globally as close to the same time as possible, Friday became the new Tuesday. This happened back in 2015, and since then most major artists release on Fridays exclusively.
In terms of WHY most artists release on Fridays, here are a few reasons:
- The Billboard Charts
- Industry shift from physical to digital.
- Industry Standard (Tradition, tradition!)
The Billboard Charts
For an artist or band with a large enough audience, the goal is to chart and to chart as soon as possible. In order to do that, you've got to nail the timing. This is mainly because Billboard tracks data from Friday to Friday as a 7-day cycle. - I know, I know... You'd think it could be more fluid. It's 2021 and we're still living in the stone ages here in the music industry
Industry shift from physical to digital
Sales for artists and labels are now mainly digital streams and digital downloads. Most of the listening audiences are on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, and those major platforms make updates on Fridays to their online storefronts, radio stations, & editorial playlists. To be as successful as possible, the big artists try to align with these updates on Fridays
Industry Standard (Tradition, tradition!)
The other main reason I've found for why artists all release on the same day... tradition, tradition! Yep, it doesn't make much sense to myself personally, but people just do it that way because that's the way it's always been. Seems like a sad excuse but hey, who am I to judge.
Which Day Of The Week Is Best To Release New Music As An Indie Artist?
So now that we have a bit more context, let's get back to the main issue at hand. Let's say you're Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, or even just an artist with decently large following - let's say a ball park of 100k monthly listeners or more - for an artist with this size of a listening audience, definitely release on Fridays. Maximize your opportunity to chart and get on Spotify & Apple Music's big editorial playlists and radio stations.
Focus First On Getting To An Audience Of 100k Monthly Listeners
If you're an indie artist, I recommend shooting for another day of the week and here's why. You're chances of charting or getting on the big platforms main features are pretty slim, and I don't mean that in a mean way. I just mean... let's be realistic. Let's first have a goal to get to an audience of 100k monthly listeners and THEN try to chart.
Consider Releasing Your Music Any Day Other Than Friday
If you go live on Friday you may risk getting buried by the other big artists. Let's say your song goes live and you hop on social media to share the news: "Hey everyone! I just released my first single, please go listen!" Your friends and family all hop on Spotify and instantly see that their favorite pop artist has also released a new single, EP, or full album.
Those friends and family will probably still listen to your song. But they'll probably listen to the other pop artist release and it will take away from the excitement of your new music. Personally, I'd recommend separating yourself from the pack and releasing on a day of the week Monday-Thursday.
Why not instead release on a Thursday or any other day of the week? Then maybe your friends and family will be solely excited about your new music and before they go stream another massive pop artist's release, they'll listen to your song multiple times and hopefully share it themselves. That's the goal in my mind - get them to listen, not just once but multiple times and then go share it with others.