Canadian Vinyl Sales Are Down in 2020 — and It's Not Just Because of COVID-19

Sales were down before lockdown began (and now they're even worse)

BY Alex HudsonPublished Jul 13, 2020

One of the biggest music industry stories of the past decade-plus has been the resurgence of vinyl, as sales have steadily climbed year after year. Now, it looks as if the bubble might have finally burst, since vinyl sales in Canada are down in 2020 — and it's not just because of coronavirus lockdowns.

According to a new report from Nielsen Music/MRC Data, vinyl sales in Canada were down 8 percent through March 12, year over year. Once lockdown began, that deficit increased to 28.5 percent by June 4.

It since seems to have rebounded slightly, up to a 26 percent deficit as of July 2. All told, Canada saw 311,000 vinyl sales in the first half of 2020, compared to 420,000 in the first half of 2019.

As for overall physical sales (including vinyl as well as other formats), those went down by 26.2 percent up to March 12, before falling to a staggering 49.7 percent loss by July 3.

A bright side is that on-demand streaming is up 16.6 percent year over year (as of July 2), while total audio consumption is up 5.7 percent. Streaming growth has been slower since lockdown began, although it has generally continued on an upward trend.

Latest Coverage