With limited physical interaction and lockdowns ravaging record stores amid the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers and sellers have been flocking to Discogs, with many record stores listing their entire stock online.
Dissecting this surge of online transactions, the audio recording database recently released their Discogs Mid-Year Report. It’s chock-full of data on cross-genre physical music consumption and aggregated consumer music tastes during the first half of 2020.
Physical sales in the Discogs Marketplace grew 29.69% over the prior year, hitting over 4.2 million orders.
Vinyl sales comprised the biggest proportion, up 33.72% from 2019 with over 5.8 million records bought on the website. CDs rose as well, increasing 31.03% to over 1.5 million CDs, while cassettes grew 30.52% to over 137,000 tapes.
Discogs noted, “music fans are resilient, active, and enthusiastic … Thanks to a thriving vinyl community, the first half of 2020 has been the best six-month period we’ve ever seen … Across the Marketplace and Database, our Community has rallied during this bizarre time in history.”
Discogs recorded an average yearly increase of 30% in music submissions every month since March 2020, marking 18% total growth over 2019, encompassing over 798,000 submissions.
Overall, about 7.6 million pieces of physical music were sold by independent sellers during the first six months of 2020 on Discogs.
Electronic Music Insights
On the electronic music front, Peggy Gou’s Moment EP is the best-selling record of the year so far on Discogs, while James Andrew’s Thinking Backwards EP is the “most wanted.” Remarkably, Capoeira Twins’ 4 x 3 is the most expensive record. It sold for $6,052.
Hopeful Outlook in an Uncertain Time
Launched in 2000 with the goal of becoming the largest online database of electronic music, Discogs has since expanded to cover other genres like rock, hip-hop, jazz, and classical. The website is home to over 10 million releases from over 1 million labels and 5 million artists.
Beyond comprehensive discography, Discogs offers a reputable marketplace for buying and selling physical music and is home to a thriving community of music enthusiasts who discuss, rank, and share music amongst themselves. The platform’s sweeping popularity as both marketplace and database of physical music is what makes its mid-year report significant. The report offers an insightful reflection of where physical music industries like vinyl stand, particularly during a tumultuous six months in which the music industry has bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Considering the rise in both music postings and purchases, the report boasts “a thriving market,” positive statistics, and an optimistic outlook for physical music consumption. “From where we’re sitting right now, the future of the record industry looks different, but it certainly looks quite bright,” Discogs observes.
Read the full 36-page Discogs Mid-Year Report here.
Image credit: Elviss Railijs