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Gregg Allman, Neil Young Headline "New Music Friday"
International music organization IFPI kicked off New Music Fridays two years ago in more than 45 global markets, and Forbes has taken a penetrating look at how New Music Fridays is alternatively a center of attention or something to be avoided, especially in today's 24/7 streaming music culture when "going viral" can demand standing apart from the crowd.
Anticipation for several of today's leading releases has been intense, examples of New Music Fridays creating a center of attention. For example, GRAMMY winners Gregg Allman and Neil Young dropped new albums of past recordings today.
Allman's death on May 27 of this year was one of our tragic losses, and now Southern Blood caps his career with a final look at the true rocker's personal landscape, produced by Don Was. Multiple GRAMMY winner and 2010 MusiCares Person of the Year Young recorded today's release Hitchhiker in 1976 and it's been awaited since he revealed its existence in 2014.
While some indie artists avoid the industry-wide conformity of releasing music on a certain day, a megastar like Taylor Swift can really leverage the attention, as she proved on Aug. 25, having released "Look What You Made Me Do" strategically the day before. The song's official YouTube video was posted that Sunday — the day of MTV's Video Music Awards — and has since received more than 274 million views.
Music has always relied on creative promotion to get its message across, but the streaming music environment has bent time. Days of the week don't mean what they used to, and the focused attention on when physical CDs become available strikes some as old-fashioned.
New Music Fridays will continue to bring us new worlds of musical experience worth exploring, whether or not artists avoid it or their promotional campaigns produce hits. This weekend, consider sitting back and exploring some of these old and new musical landscapes that have just been released.