This week's Billboard 200 chart marks the last time albums will be tallied on a Monday-Sunday tracking cycle as the music world makes the shift to a Friday global release day. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) first announced the change back in Feb. and it has been made official as of today, July 10. The IFPI launched an official website, newmusicfridays.com, to answer any questions about the change and explained why they made the change saying, "In today's digital world the old system of national release days didn't make sense. For example, a music fan in France was able to get a new album on a Monday, but a fan in Germany had to wait until Friday before the same album was available. Now new releases are available to everyone on the same day, wherever they are in the world."

In Feb., IFPI CEO Frances Moore released a statement about the change that read, "“The whole dynamic of the global release day consultation has been driven by one thing and one thing only – how best to serve the music consumer. We’ve had a long consultation involving retailers artists and record labels, and we have looked at a large amount of insight and research. The good news has been the widespread support we’ve seen around the world for global release day – no one has seriously questioned the concept, the only debate has been about the day. The artist organizations and many retailers and record companies internationally support Friday, and this is backed by consumer research in many countries.”

When announced, the release date change was not met with praise from everyone. Beggars Group head honcho Martin Mills has issues with the proposed change. ““I have concerns about the proposed global release day,” he said. “Whilst I acknowledge the needs of a digital world for co-ordination, it seems to me to be crazy to throw away one of the trading week’s two peaks, and the ability to restock and rectify errors before the week’s second peak.”

Time will tell if the change is the right move for the industry.