All non-essential businesses, including record stores, are closed due to COVID-19. Everyone is staying at home in quarantine. And now, albums have had their worst sales week ever.
In the week ending 3/19, Billboard reports that album sales in all formats fell 29% to 1.52 million, the smallest number of albums sold in a week since Nielsen began tracking music sales in 1991 — and probably since albums took off as a format in the ’60s. (The previous low, 1.65 million, was earlier this year in the week ending 1/16).
Unsurprisingly, physical album sales did even worse this week, declining by 36% to just 979,000 sold. This is the first time in the Nielsen Music era, and probably since the mid-’60s, that weekly physical album sales have dropped below a million. The previous low was 1.05 million sold in the week ending 7/11/19.