Physical music sales have surged online during pandemic, says Discogs

The online music marketplace says physical sales on the platform have increased nearly 30 per cent in the last six months

Online music marketplace Discogs says global sales on the platform in the first half of 2020 have increased dramatically during lockdown, with vinyl, CD and cassette sales seeing a surge.

According to their mid-year report released last Friday (August 28), physical sales on the Discogs Marketplace rose 29.69 per cent – 4,228,270 orders – between January and June this year, compared to the same period last year. A dramatic spike in sales can be seen from April, shortly after the coronavirus pandemic forced many record stores to shut their physical shopfronts.

The report attributes the rise in sales partially to a larger number of users as lockdown saw more shoppers turning online, along with “a desire to support small business”. The report also cites independent music retailers making their catalogues available online as a significant contributing factor, prompted by lockdown measures around the world forcing stores to close their physical stores, at least temporarily.

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The most substantial year-over-year improvement came via vinyl record sales, which increased 33.72 per cent with over 5.8 million units sold. CD and cassette sales weren’t far behind, demonstrating a 31.03 per cent (1.6 million units sold) and 30.52 per cent (over 137,000 units) increase respectively. Vinyl sales accounted for over 75 per cent of transactions on the platform in the first half of the year.

Overall, more than 7.6million pieces of physical music were sold by independent sellers around the world throughout the first six months of the year – an overall 33.83 per cent increase over the same period last year.

“As sellers onboard more stock to the Marketplace, buyers turn to e-commerce with a desire to support small business, and music fans dig further into their own collections, visibility and availability are greater than ever,” the report reads.

“This trend should continue to grow as new customers become part of the Discogs Community and buying habits shift for the long term.”

Data regarding the best-selling new releases on the platform were also included in the mid-year report, with Tame Impala‘s ‘The Slow Rush’, The Strokes‘ ‘The New Abnormal’, Khruangbin and Leon Bridges‘ ‘Texas Sun’ and Ozzy Osbourne‘s ‘Ordinary Man’ among the top sellers.

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