It was another bad week for Canadian music sales. At least streaming didn’t go down.

The weekly Canadian music sales and streaming report from Nielsen paints a sobering picture of how the recorded music industry is doing during the coronavirus crisis.

  • Total album sales are down 37.8% from this point last year, dropping another 3.5% from last week.
  • CD sales are 49% behind this week in 2019 but marginally ahead (a mere 639 units) ahead of last week’s sales. To put things another way, compare last week’s sales (20,739 units) to the same week in 2019 (118,042). Doing the math, that’s a drop of 82.5%.
  • Digital albums are 25.0% softer from 2019 and down 3.9% from last week.
  • Digital tracks are softer by 27.7% year-over-year and 2.5% less week-over-week.
  • Vinyl is down 32.2% from 2019 and down 16.1% from last week’s sales.

On-demand audio streams is something of a bright spot, if you can call it that. It’s basically unchanged from this point last week (up 0.3%), which is ahead of 14.7% from 2019.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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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