How are Canadian music sales weathering COVID-19 this week? Let’s take a look.

Once again, Nielsen Canada’s weekly stats on Canadian music sales and streams paint a mixed picture for the industry. Here’s how things look in the age of coronavirus.

  • Total album sales are down 38.5% from where they were at this point in 2019.
  • CD sales are 53.3% lower.
  • Digital albums are down 21.9%
  • Digital tracks are softer by 26.8%
  • Vinyl has dropped by 26.7% year-over-year
  • On-demand audio streaming is up by 16.6%.
  • Alberta continues to lead the way when it comes to sales drops from 2019 (-50.5%).

That things aren’t great vs. a year ago isn’t much of a surprise. But what if we zoom in on the week-to-week numbers for 2020?

  • Total album sales have increased by 8.1% since the previous week.
  • CDs are up 2.5%
  • Digital albums are ahead by 15.5%
  • Digital tracks are up 4.6%.
  • Vinyl is down by 4.9%.
  • On-demand audio streams are basically flat (-0.7%, 1.987 billion streams in the country last week)

So while the year-over-year suck, there are signs of improvement week-to-week. Fingers cross.

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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