Album Sales Saw Their Worst Week In 60 Years

COVID-19 Is Showing Record Setting Affects On The Music Industry

April 1, 2020

Hulton Archive / Stringer


So this isn't exactly a fun update, but it's worth noting as the effects of Coronavirus are currently being felt around the world.  From our own quarantine experiences to the growing number who are confirmed to have contracted the virus, it's a pretty universally unpleasant situation.

Already we've seen the music industry take a massive hit, from a tidal wave of festival cancellations, record release delays, and general artist touring being virtually wiped out through the summer, to venue staff layoffs and stunted streaming numbers, things aren't exactly awesome.  And now we know, another facet of the industry is taking a direct hit, album sales.

Last week just 1.52 million copies were moved, which stands as the lowest consumption of full LP's since the birth of the album format in the mid 60's.  Of course, that's still taking digital consumption into account, as actually physical sales dipped below the 1 million unit mark for the first time ever since modern tracking. Yikes.  This seemed a somewhat inevitability as many record stores have been forced to shutter their doors after being deemed non-essential business.  

Unfortunately it seems like the hits will only continue to keep coming following this massive drop (a reported 27.6% from the week previous, with streaming down 7.6%), as the record industry's biggest sales point, Record Store Day, has been moved from April to June.  And even that is starting to feel ambitious.

For the time being, you can do your part by following your favorite record stores and artists on instagram and looking for opportunities to support them in various ways including merchdise gift cards, gofundme's, and various other creative endeavors.  Now more than ever is the time to not only take care of ourselves, but each other.

And in the meantime, enjoy this video of Sam Neil covering Radiohead, cuz we all need nice things.