Why is the new Springsteen album, Working on a Dream, coming out on January 27? Christmas is the big selling season. Wouldn’t lots of people want to buy this album for the holidays? Moreover, albums that debut early in the year are less likely to make the end of the year "best of the year" lists since they are soon forgotten.
True, there is surely a mixed strategy equilibrium in which some albums debut in January. After all, since most albums, like movies, will aim for a holiday release this gives the ones that come out after the holidays more shelf space and radio time all to themselves. Thus, it can’t be an equilibrium for all albums to debut at Christmas. But which ones should? Knowing that the Springsteen album is coming in January does that give us a signal of quality? Can you work out the equilibrium?