Album sales at their lowest for 60 years due to coronavirus pandemic

The global crisis has seen drops in both physical sales and streaming numbers

Album sales have fallen to their lowest in 60 years in the US as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the music industry.

The ongoing global crisis has seen gigs, tours and festivals cancelled or postponed in the coming months, while it was recently reported streaming figures had also fallen in the wake of the outbreak.

According to Billboard, the equivalent of 1.52 million albums were sold during the week of March 19. That figure is the lowest album sales have dropped since the mid-1960s.


Physical sales of albums have been impacted by the closure of record shops to co-operate with lockdown and social distancing measures, although many are still selling stock online. Amazon has also stopped stocking vinyl to make room for more essential products.

Earlier this week, analytics provider Alpha Data revealed figures that show a 7.6 percent drop in streams in the US in the week of March 13-19 – the week when many Americans first self-quarantined and other non-essential outlets business closed across the country.

Meanwhile, the annual Record Store Day, which traditionally provides a boost of sales to the music industry, has been postponed from April 18 to June 20 because of coronavirus.

This year’s Record Store Day will feature releases from the likes of My Chemical Romance, Robyn, Gorillaz, New Order, Eminem, The Cure, Christine And The Queens, Biffy Clyro, and Warpaint’s Jennylee.