US album sales plummet to a historic low

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  • As stores shutter due to the coronavirus pandemic, overall album sales have dropped to 1.52 million.
  • US album sales plummet to a historic low image
  • Last week's Nielsen Music/MRC Data shows that record sales and digital music—as with the live music space—have nosedived due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sales dropped as many record stores were forced to close their doors (though many shops kept up mail-order where possible). In the week ending March 19th, overall album sales dropped 29 percent to 1.52 million, a number comprising digital, CDs, vinyl LPs, cassettes et al. That's the lowest overall album sales number since Nielsen/MRC Data began collecting data in 1991, and may be a historic low spanning back to when the LP format became popular in the mid-'60s, Billboard reports. Within the grim outlook, there are several bright spots. Vinyl sales for 2020 are up 42.2 percent year-to-date over 2019. Vinyl now makes up 22.6 percent of all albums sold and 33 percent of the physical market. Streaming, as well, marches on, up 19.7 percent in 2020 after a 29.3 percent jump last year. For more information on how you can support artists, record labels and stores, check out our regularly updated guide, Save Our Scene: Buy Music And Merch. We've also kicked off a series spotlighting record stores over on the RA Instagram.