The surge and resurrection of the vinyl industry have been stopped in its tracks by the outbreak of COVID-19. As New Musical Express (NME) reports, the numbers recorded in the week of March 23 show that the US sales of vinyl records are at their lowest point in 60 years.
This is yet another big hit for the music industry, as the gigs, tours, festivals and any live events have been canceled or postponed for an indefinite amount of time. NME quotes Billboard as saying, 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. It seems that part of the joy of vinyl collectors is doing direct shopping and having a physical copy of the album.
But, the COVID-19 effect on streaming is no less damning. Last 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.”