National Album Day: Could it go global?

National Album Day: Could it go global?

As Music Week revealed, National Album Day is returning for a second year. Saturday, October 12 is the date for the celebration of the long-player.

With the positive reaction to the first year of National Album Day, the global potential for the event has quickly come under discussion. 

“I’ve already had some conversations with my US counterparts, who were quite keen to see how it worked in the UK before they launched into it,” ERA CEO Kim Bayley told Music Week. “They started doing something really light touch last year – they didn’t do a full-scale National Album Day promotion, but they did a week on socials where they got people to talk about their favourite albums to test the water.”

Record Store Day, which is also overseen by ERA, has snowballed into a multi-territory event since its launch in 2008.

This year’s edition of National Album Day has some high-profile support from artist ambassadors Lewis Capaldi, Elbow, Mark Ronson and rising star Mahalia.

“When you’ve got some really great artists involved who do cross borders, inevitably there’s a chance that it [NAD] will go international,” said Bayley.

When you’ve got great artists involved, inevitably there’s a chance that National Album Day will go international

Kim Bayley

National Album Day is organised by ERA and the BPI, whose chief executive Geoff Taylor has also been spreading the word about the UK event and its potential boost for the album format.

“It is something that I’ve started introducing to my colleagues overseas in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Australia, the US – all the key international markets – and they are interested in this model,” he told Music Week. “We want to give it a second year, see how it goes, and really try to consolidate and build on the successful first year. Then it will be up to other markets whether they want to pick it up. Clearly, the factors that have driven the creation of National Album Day are not purely UK factors.”

Derek Allen, SVP, commercial, at Warner Music UK, added: “There’s no reason for that [international expansion] not to be the case. That surely must be part of the ambition.”

The support for the UK edition is also strong among the label sector, from indies to majors. 

“We are pleased to support year two of National Album Day after seeing encouraging engagement for the inaugural campaign last year,” said Chris Shiels, commercial director, Universal Music UK. “To see NAD trending on social media with a broad audience of contributors showed the appetite for album debate is clearly strong for UK music fans. We look forward to seeing the event move forward in 2019 with an exciting set of ambassadors sure to bring further discussion and engagement across a broad demographic.”

To read the full National Album Day interviews pick up the latest issue – or subscribers can click here.

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