Looking back on the last couple of years and the manner in which music is being rolled out, a trend emerges – emails containing new music and videos tend to come right in time for the end of the week. Fridays have slowly become the go to day for artists seeking to put out new music or videos.
One Friday at CC HQ we decided to dig deeper into this culture. How did it become a thing? Why did it become a thing? Is it optimal? To answer these questions, we spoke to six music industry insiders.
Gbenga Sanusi- Talent Manager, Aristokrat Group
Gbenga thinks of Fridays as ideal for online engagement
Fridays are the days when most people are online, so it gives a better time to put out music and they’re sure it’s going to be the most effective. I really don’t know how it started but I just feel planning wise, in terms of roll out it’s wiser to put out at the end of the week where you have the whole week to yourself to sort what you can. I wouldn’t say its the perfect day per se, I just feel its the day that more people are online and more people can actually get songs. You want to have a day you’re sure more people are listening. I don’t know about it being smart but over the years its been effective.
Jessica Chibueze- Content Creator, Co-Host of Loose Talk podcast and Curator of The Jess Finesse Flexlist
Jess had a different take on the subject.
I THINK PEOPLE TEND TO GET EXCITED FOR MUSIC CONSUMPTION ON THE WEEKEND, AFTER A LONG SCHOOL OR WORK-WEEK. PEOPLE USE THE WEEKEND TO CATCH UP ON THINGS THEY MAY HAVE MISSED DURING MONDAY-FRIDAY, INCLUDING MUSIC.
I THINK IT’S ALSO A SAFE ASSUMPTION THAT ARTISTES CAPITALIZE OFF SOCIAL EVENTS AND PARTIES DURING THAT HAPPEN FRIDAY-SUNDAY WHERE IF THEIR NEW MUSIC DROPS ON FRIDAY, THEIR TEAMS ARE STRATEGICALLY LOOKING FOR HOW TO MAKE SURE DJs OAPS, AND MUSIC CURATORS, ARE ADDING THOSE NEW SONGS THEIR WEEKEND LINEUPS TO BEEF UP THE PERCEPTION OF THEIR ROLLOUTS.
SO CONSUMER BEHAVIOR AND WHAT THE WEEKEND MEANS TO PEOPLE HAVE GROWN WEEKEND-RELEASE CULTURE.
She thinks the decision to put out music on Fridays is a tricky one. To her, it can be wise because;
FROM A MARKETING STANDPOINT, I’M NOT AGAINST NEW MUSIC FRIDAYS. BUT THE TREND HAS BECOME OVER SATURATED, WHICH FOR ME, HAS MADE IT LOSE ITS EFFECTIVENESS. IF EVERYONE IS DROPPING MUSIC ON FRIDAY AND COMPETING FOR THE COVETED ATTENTION SPAN OF CONSUMERS, THERE ARE HIGHER CHANCES THAT YOU’RE MUSIC EITHER WILL GET LOST IN THE NOISE OR CONSUMED HAPHAZARDLY. IF 5 SINGLES AND TWO ALBUMS DROP ON A FRIDAY, AND THE ARTISTES ALL HAVE SIMILAR FANBASES, IF YOU’RE MUSIC OR YOUR PROMO ROLLOUT DOESN’T STANDOUT, YOUR EXISTING FANS MAY LISTEN TO YOUR MUSIC, BUT WHAT ABOUT NEW POTENTIAL LISTENERS WHO HAVE NUMEROUS SONGS TO GO THROUGH ON A FRIDAY?
MULTIPLE RELEASES ON FRIDAY GIVE ROOM FOR THE CONSUMERS SUFFERING FROM “FOMO”, TO RUSH THROUGH 10 SONGS JUST SO THEY CAN TALK ABOUT THE MUSIC ON SOCIAL MEDIA. THOSE SAME CONSUMERS MAY GIVE AN ARTISTE A NEGATIVE REVIEW BASED ON A QUICK LISTEN. AND THAT DOESN’T HELP THE ARTISTE DOES IT?
She has a solution;
I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD FIND BEAUTY IN DROPPING ON MONDAYS AGAIN. I STATED EARLIER THAT ARTISTES WANT TO GET PEOPLE’S ATTENTION ON FRIDAYS, BUT ARTISTES SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER THAT PEOPLE NEED MUSIC TO BE ABLE TO GET THROUGH THE WEEK TOO. FOR EXAMPLE, THE PODCAST I CO-HOST (THE LOOSETALK PODCAST), WE SEE AMPLE EVIDENCE OF PEOPLE EXCITED THAT WE PUBLISH NEW EPISODES ON MONDAYS BECAUSE IT EITHER GIVES LISTENERS CONTENT TO LISTEN TO THROUGHOUT THE WEEK OR IT HELPS THEM GET THROUGH LONG MONDAYS OF WORK OR SCHOOL. THURSDAY MUSIC DROPS SHOULD ALSO BE LOOKED INTO. SINCE MOVING TO LAGOS, I’VE LEARNED THAT THURSDAY IS THE NEW FRIDAY FOR OF MANY PEOPLE (IN LAGOS). THURSDAY RELEASES CAN ALLOW ARTISTES TO DODGE FRIDAY DIGITAL TRAFFIC ON STREAMING SITES AND BLOGS, WHILE STILL TAPPING INTO THE END-OF-THE-WEEK EXCITEMENT.
James Ndubuisi- Soundtrack Artist, Lionsgate
James has serious reservations about the trend. He said:
It’s a bad idea because you know that Friday, the whole world is dropping music. It doesn’t help. If you have your fan base, you can drop it on any day of the week but when you’re still trying to gather it avoid Fridays. I think its uncreative for people to release music on a Friday when everyone else is doing it. It can work, it may not work, everything is a risk.
Cindy Ihua- Maduenyi- Talent Manager (Psycho YP)
I think it’s really good and it’s not something limited to the music industry. It’s also present in the movie industry as well. New movies come out on Friday. It’s a way to coordinate any sector and coordinate and track releases- platforms want to be able to focus their energy on distribution basically.
If it gives a certain structure then why not focus on that day?
She explained further why Fridays are ideal;
It’s a trend that people use to regulate and circulate music. It’s the start of the weekend and it’s usually when media houses like to put out new content and a time for people to focus on things that aren’t work related.
She closed by giving her go ahead to the Friday release trend.
I would say if there’s a particular time that people are definitely paying attention to music, go ahead.
Aisosa Okundaye- Public Relations, Chocolate City Music
Aisosa reiterates some of the points our other interviewees made;
I don’t know if it’s a trend, but I would say that artists were just looking for the best time to communicate to their audience. You really don’t want to struggle with the activities of the week. Mondays to Fridays you have work stuff. So Friday, Saturday and Sunday people are willing to listen more. I don’t know who was first to figure this out but I think that’s the ideology behind it. Friday’s are the peak of the weekend- it’s when you’re not thinking of reports or Monday meetings as you typically would.It has its defects like everything in life but for now it seems to work; people seem to pay more attention on weekends. It’s smart right now but at the same time we have people who are outliers who release on Mondays or Tuesdays and it gives them more listening space because if nothing is out Monday to Thursday and I drop stuff I’ll be the only thing being talked about. It has its benefits but also has its consequences. May the best man win because it’s not a guarantee if the content isn’t top stuff.
Amarachi had some germane insight;
For me it goes back to Kanye’s original Good Fridays, I feel like that was legendary for him to set a date that allowed him to release music and people were able to anticipate it. I think that set the tone for other artists to see the value in it and then I think DSP’s and streaming platforms and media editorial platforms adopted it and made it a standard.
She had some advice for newbies in the music business;
I think it works but in ways it tries to make everyone uniform which can take away from originality and authenticity. You’re competing with a lot of people every Friday rather than just embracing your own timeline. So I suggest artists follow the formula sometimes but not be forced in a box.
Interviews were conducted by Edidiong Eton & Marie- Therese Oke.