Anxiously Waiting 

By Alex Gryciuk

8:58 p.m. 

Anxiously watching the clock: Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick…

8:59 p.m.

Click. Refresh the page again. And again, and again, and again. Only 30 more seconds left. 

9:00 p.m.

Is it really time? Refresh the page once more.

Finally! IT’S HERE!

A shared experience amongst almost all music lovers; listening to a long anticipated song, EP, or album from favorite artists right when they release to the public on a Friday night at 9:00 p.m. PST (Pacific Standard Time), certainly brings immense joy to many. But why does music only release at 9:00 p.m. PST on Fridays? Why not on Tuesdays or Saturdays? Why not as early as 6:00 a.m. or as late as 11 p.m.?

What once became established in an effort to combat piracy in 2015, many streaming services unanimously decided on Friday’s at 00:01 local time across 45 countries even after streaming largely became free. To New Yorkers, it means waiting till 12:00 a.m. before listening to new releases. To lucky, local Californians, it means receiving the latest bops three hours earlier at 9:00 p.m..

Although the need for uniform release dates became obsolete, streaming services, labels, and independent artists still keep the tradition alive of releasing music at 9:00 p.m. mainly as a way to gauge billboard success and resetting streaming playlists. 

Every week, the Top 100 Billboard publishes the most popular songs of that week. Finding that it helps to boost streaming logistics through extra publicity, artists strive for one of these top 100 spots. Ranking each viewed song from its sales each week from Friday to Thursday, Billboard influences labels and artists to release on Friday so it possesses a full week and the highest potential to place on the list. 

Furthermore, since many streaming services refresh new release playlists on Friday’s at the same time, artists and their labels strive to also be placed on these playlists for more views. Moving away from the traditional music industry, new releases of music follow this streaming precedent to also decide when they release their music. 

Whether you’re anxiously waiting for new music to critique and analyze or just need a new song to listen to on repeat, you can always count that new music releases to the public at 9:00 p.m., every Friday. Happy listening!