With new regulations requiring social distancing and isolation to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, record stores have been forced to close their doors for the time being, as non-essential businesses feel the impact of the global pandemic. That impact is now more evident than ever, as weekly album sales in the United States have reached a record weekly low, according to Nielsen Music.

Nielsen/MRC Data shows that overall album sales dropped 29%, to 1.52 million, in the week ending on March 19th. Since 1991, Nielsen Music has been tracking weekly album sales, and the U.S. has never seen album sales at a lower point. This data includes not only sales of physical albums (CD, vinyl, etc.), but digital album sales as well. 

With streaming taking over as the main format of music consumption, it's no surprise that album sales would reach a low point, especially amid a global health crisis. Furthermore, with so many workers now unemployed in the States, leisure spending has certainly taken a decline, impacting the music industry and beyond.

Though vinyl album sales are actually trending upward, the majority of music fans have shifted toward digital streaming formats. This trend has been evident for quite some time, with album sales reaching a previous low in July 2019. 

Recommended Articles

amnesia ibiza

Short But Sweet: Amnesia Ibiza Announces Back-to-Back Opening and Closing Parties

The Blessed Madonna, Skream, Jamie Jones, Deborah De Luca, and many more will give the iconic Ibiza nightclub a proper sendoff after a turbulent year.

kat bein

Interview Tips for DJs From Veteran Music Journalist, Kat Bein

Talking about your music isn’t always easy. Here’s how to do it like a pro.

Delerium Bill Leeb

Delerium and Sarah McLachlan's Trance Classic "Silence" Receives Massive Hardstyle Remixes

Brennan Heart and Dailucia spiced up Delerium's 1991 classic with hardstyle remixes.

There's no telling if the downward trend will continue, but with self-quarantining and the temporary loss of some avenues for purchasing albums, it's likely that streaming will retain the limelight in the world of music. 

H/t: Billboard


Spotify money

U.S. Congress Casts Doubt on Spotify's Controversial "Discovery Mode" Feature

"Core copyright industries like music play an integral role in the U.S. economy, and the vitality of the industry is undermined when artists’ hard work is undervalued."

people at concert

Industry News Round-Up: U.S. Music Revenues Increase, CDs & Vinyl Sales Outsell Digital Since 2011, & More

The U.S.'s music revenues are up, and CD and vinyl sales are selling more than digital for the first time since 2011.

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy from Pexels.

Schedule 1 and 2 Drugs have Officially been Defelonized in Colorado

Penalties for possession of some controlled substances have been lowered in the state of Colorado.

lady gaga

Lady Gaga Dominates Dance/Electronic Categories at 2021 Billboard Music Awards

Gaga took home the awards for Best Dance/Electronic Artist and Album.


3LAU Sells Record-Breaking $3.6 Million NFT in First-Ever Tokenized Album Sale

The electronic music vet and cryptocurrency pundit broke the record in NFT sales with over $11 million in total bids.

A head shot of Australian DJ/producer Paul Fisher laughing or making a funny face.

"Losing It" by FISHER Hits #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart

FISHER's summer hit has won him his first #1 after 17 weeks on the chart.

Disclosure Press Photo

Disclosure have Written "Over 100 Songs" in Anticipation of Third Album Release

Disclosure have amassed well over an album's worth of unreleased music.