Digital piracy didn’t just bring down the music industry as we knew it, it also caused the collapse of Release Day.
For so many years, to so many music lovers, Tuesdays were just as anticipated as Fridays. Tuesday was Release Day. The punks, audiophiles and jazz heads waited with bated breath for their favorite new releases, be it on vinyl, cassette or CD. Rancid, Dream Theater or Miles. But the mp3 changed all of this– it erased Release Day from the calendar. It stripped Tuesday’s only reason for existing.
As we all know, with the digitization of music came the proliferation of music piracy. These pirates live by their own rules; they weren’t about to be beholden to a release date set by some corporate marketing schmuck. Driven by the thrill of causing upheaval in the over-political recording industry, pirates buried their “treasure” in the open, making sure everyone had access to whatever music they wanted, whenever they wanted it. Yes, even before the release date.
But, in the middle of July, many Americans got their Release Day back. Spotify, the Swedish music-streaming service, launched in the U.S. To many, Spotify signaled a real victory in the fight against the recording industry, eradicating, in many respects, the need for music piracy.
Along with the unfettered access that Spotify provides to (almost) any song by any artist on any album came an unexpected surprise– anticipation for Tuesday. No longer the worst day of the week, Tuesday finally stands for something again. Tuesday has become a day for experimentation, a day for sharing new discoveries, a day for finding diamonds in the rough. Welcome back Release Day, it’s nice to see you again.
Written by Ben Cheney
P.S. If you feel like celebrating Release Day with us this week, I suggest: