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Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 7, Number 1 (2007)

Improving the Seasonal Release Calendar for Recorded Music

Barry Sosnick
Five Towns College


This paper extrapolates possible ways recorded music companies can improve the release schedule for their recordings. The goal is to provide a more balanced quarterly flow of new product. Although the paper presents guidelines appropriate for industry professionals, each assumption requires empirical testing to ensure academic rigor. Portions of the distribution channel for recorded music are concerned that the calendar fourth quarter accounts for too great of a proportion of the total of annual new music releases. John Marmaduke (1996), chairman and CEO of multi-format entertainment retailer Hastings Entertainment, expressed his concerns about this matter in a Billboard editorial entitled “Seasonal Suicide.” Marmaduke criticized the labels for flooding the market with too many new releases during the last three months of the year, while not releasing enough titles during the rest of the year. Several industry executives and academics formed an ad hoc committee to improve the dispersion of new music releases throughout the year. This paper is an outcrop of the committee’s findings.

Keywords: music industry, recording industry, release schedule, music distribution, John Marmaduke, Hastings Entertainment, seasonal suicide

Sosnick, Barry. “Improving the Seasonal Release Calendar for Recorded Music.Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 7, no. 1 (2007): 81-89. https://doi.org/10.25101/7.5

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