Why are CD/DVD releases always on Tuesday?
June 7, 2005 8:57 AM   Subscribe

They're talking today about "Super CD Tuesday" on MSNBC...Why are CD/DVD releases always on Tuesday?
posted by clgregor to Shopping (11 answers total)
I can tell you that, as a musician who has had CDs released, I've always wondered about this. I remember asking the distributors why, and never got a satisfactory answer.
posted by Specklet at 9:34 AM on June 7, 2005

Best answer: Google Answers has one opinion on your question, but I would guess a variety of external factors are just as equally important. My knowledge macroeconomic theory and trends relating to the film/music industry is low, but based on my knowledge of other industries, it's something that happens for a reason:

According to features editor Mike Pearson, albums are released on Tuesdays because sales figures for albums are released on Mondays. While films are ranked according to weekend sales figures, the billboard charts are determined according to weekly sales. Thus, in order to maximize their sales potential, albums have to be released immediately after the posting of the previous week's sales figures.
posted by carabiner at 9:37 AM on June 7, 2005

Curiosly, albums are released on Mondays in England.
posted by benightedly_heedful at 9:54 AM on June 7, 2005

But then the UK chart is announced on a Sunday evening so it follows carabiner's reasoning.
posted by gi_wrighty at 10:42 AM on June 7, 2005

Curiosly, albums are released on Mondays in England

And Scotland and Wales. And Northern Ireland too, I image.
posted by nylon at 10:53 AM on June 7, 2005

I think it's the same reason as video releases on Tuesdays (almost always). When I worked in the video industry I asked our distributor about this. The distributions costs to have albums, videos, books, etc. come out on various days of the week were enormous. Too many individual shipments to keep up with consumer demand to have the latest/greatest.

Why Tuesdays versus Wednesdays or Mondays - I'd go with that allows for enough to time quantify shipments/sales.
posted by FlamingBore at 1:49 PM on June 7, 2005

I've heard, though I can't verify, that they used to be on Monday--but distant parts of the country wouldn't get the shipment until Tuesday, so Tuesday was fairer to those parts.
posted by Jeanne at 3:07 PM on June 7, 2005

Former video store clerk here. Several reasons videos are released on Tuesdays:

If they "street" on Tuesday, that means the video store staff has to prep them and get them on the shelf Monday night. Well, no video store is going to do prep work on Friday or Saturday; the place is flooded with customers. So you couldn't release on Saturday or Sunday; you've got to give them Sunday and Monday (and ideally Wednesday and Thursday of the previous week too) to get the things ready to go on the shelves.

And if they streeted on, say, Thursday, most of the copies would be rented that day and then, come Friday, there'd be none on the shelves. (And those first weekend rentals are a *huge* slice of the profit pie.) As it is, they rent out on Tuesday and come back on Thursday, just in time to fill the shelves for Friday. Finally, if UPS screws up or if there's some problem with the shipment and it arrives late, the worst that can happen, usually, is that the videos won't go on the shelf until Wednesday or Thursday, in which case you'll still have some for at least part of the weekend. If the release date were Friday and the shipment were late... that'd be far worse.
posted by Clay201 at 5:29 PM on June 7, 2005

Also the industry standard for sales-figure-measuring, SoundScan releases its numbers on Wednesdays. Though i suppose that could just be a chicken/egg thing.

I think its mostly the 'stocking on the weekend is a hassle' thing.

FWIW, DVD release dates are also Tuesdays 99% of the time.

Most consumable entertainment are released on a particular day of the week. In fact its only recently (maybe because of ID4? or even earlier) that movies have come out on other than Fridays.

Us wacky entertainment biz folks...
posted by softlord at 5:53 PM on June 7, 2005

In fact its only recently (maybe because of ID4? or even earlier) that movies have come out on other than Fridays.

Thanks for playing, but Star Wars was released on Wednesday, May 25, 1977. And I see no reason to assume it was the first to try to make a 5-day weekend.

Everything Clay201 says is true, but the real reason is that the home video distribution structure was built on top of the existing distribution structure for music, which is oriented around Tuesday shipments. Also, do you really think the entire industry is going to reorient itself to make life easier for video store clerks?
posted by jjg at 6:13 PM on June 7, 2005

jjg: Doesn't have much to do with making life easy for video store clerks. Rather, it's a matter of making the business profitable for video store owners (and, ultimately, every other owner and stock holder in the video food chain) who have to hire more video store clerks when the workload increases.

It's true that video releases followed the same rules as music. However, I'm sure the system would have changed by now had some other, more effectient method been conceived. It hasn't, partly because of the reasons I outlined.
posted by Clay201 at 6:53 PM on June 7, 2005

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