Here at Discogs, we make no secret of our love of data. As Q3 came to an end we were curious to see how album sales, best selling artists and popular new releases had progressed since our Mid-Year Marketplace Analysis and Database Highlights came out in July. While our Q3 analysis is not quite on the same scale, it’s a quick overview of some of the highlights until the more in-depth end-of-year report lands.
According to Nielsen, the number of tracks streamed since the start of 2017 is up 40.5% on 2016’s 315 billion, hitting 442.44 billion in the first 9 months of the year. But there’s still plenty of love for physical formats, with vinyl record sales up 3.1% on this time last year. The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was a top seller on vinyl, moving over 40,000 units since the start of the year.
Sgt. Pepper’s makes an appearance in Discogs’ best selling albums of Q3, but is relatively far behind at number 7. We don’t see any of the new releases that are typical of Nielsen’s best sellers list, but that’s pretty standard when we compare Nielsen data to Discogs. While it’s hard to top the classics, the Discogs community was a little more forward-thinking, with an album that came out just 20 years ago topping the best selling albums of Q3.
The top 20 best selling albums of the past 3 months on Discogs yields few surprises:
How Does The List Of Best Selling Artists Differ To Best Selling Albums?
Well, it doesn’t really. The best selling artists of Q3 looks pretty similar to the best selling records with just a few anomalies; Pink Floyd come out on top, with Radiohead second. The Velvet Underground & Nico make their way in at 5th best selling artist of the quarter. The rest of the list is pretty much exactly the same as the best selling albums.
Which Format Reins Supreme?
Over 1.7 million releases were sold via Discogs between July to September 2017. Unsurprisingly, vinyl is still king, shifting a sweet 1,371,116 units – that’s close to 80% of all releases sold on Discogs. Behind that was 330,663 CDs sold and 28542 cassettes, and just 11077 in the ‘other’ format category. Other includes shellac, CDr, DVD, acetate… you get the idea. That’s just 0.6% of the total sales, so not much.
New Releases To Look Out For
Perhaps more interesting is the best selling new releases on Discogs. We define a new release as anything that came out or was reissued within the past 18 months. Typically, there’s a fair few reissues and legacy artists in there, but also a good number of true new releases from popular contemporary artists.
It would seem the Discogs community just can’t get enough of Radiohead, as their 20th anniversary release of OK Computer tops best-selling lists across the board. Only time will tell if Radiohead manage to hold on to that lead as we head down the final 3 month sprint to the end of the year. There’s some strong contenders in the running, but given the ubiquity of Radiohead so far this year and the fact they’ve beat out both Pink Floyd and The Beatles to the title best selling album of Q3, all bets are off.