An update on Canadian music sales and streaming during the time of plague

Every Monday evening, Nielsen Music Canada issues its weekly look at Canadian music sales and streaming. Here’s how things are looking in the time of COVID-19.

  • Compared to this time last year, total album sales are down 38.6%
  • The biggest drop has been in CD sales, which are down 53.3%.
  • Digital albums are softer by, er, only 22.3%,
  • Digital tracks are down 26.7%.
  • Vinyl LPs are down 27%.
  • Meanwhile, on-demand audio streams are ahead by 16.5%

Now let’s zoom in and compare things week-over-week.

  • Overall album sales are more-or-less holding steady, down just 1.2% from the previous week.
  • CD sales are actually up 7.2% over the last seven days.
  • Digital albums have faltered by 9.0%.
  • Digital tracks are up by 2.1%.
  • Vinyl is up by 11.8%.
  • On-demand audio is up by 2.7% (1.747 billion streams last week).

The worst-hit area for album sales remains Alberta, with a year-over-year drop of 48.3%. Quebec is down 45.9%.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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