Published Mar 18, 2020Amazon has put a pause on receiving any additional physical media shipments, including vinyl and CDs, as it prioritizes household and medical products that are increasingly difficult to find in stores due to ongoing coronavirus-related fears.
The company announced that its warehouses have "temporarily disabled shipment creation" for some items deemed non-essential until at least April 5. Items already in warehouses will continue to be shipped to customers while supplies last, but no new shipments will be received until April 5 at the earliest.
For the music industry — especially independent labels and new releases on the horizon — it's another blow in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Amazon's temporary pause on shipping physical albums could, however, bolster other forms of buying music. Other web retailers and label websites may see increased demand, while streaming will continue to be the primary source of consumption for most major releases.
Though, according to Variety, vinyl purchasing was up 19 percent in the U.S. last year, making it the format's best year since 1988. Combined with CDs, physical music purchases still rake in more than $1 billion USD per year.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Record Store Day has been postponed, countless tours and concerts have been cancelled, and brick-and-mortar shops are temporarily shuttering doors as social distancing practices are encouraged.
To help combat the fallout for artists, Bandcamp is waving uts revenue share on all purchases for 24 hours this Friday (March 20).
Read more about the impact of the coronavirus on Canadian artists and how best to help them over here.