Storefront of Marbecks record shop in Auckland, NZ

The World’s Most Remote Record Store, And Other Cool Stats

Over at our sister site, VinylHub, the community is working hard on cataloguing all of the world’s (brick and mortar) record stores. Because the data is community-contributed, it is of course also community-owned and accessible under a creative commons license, just like on Discogs. Of course, these statistics are only as accurate as the data itself. Help us keep it up to date by checking if the record shops in your city or country are accurately listed on VinylHub. If your favourite record store is missing, why not add it? We dug into this record store data to look at some statistics concerning shop geographics.

(mouse over or tap each country on the map to see the exact numbers)

Now let’s further break down the number of record stores by country. It should come as no surprise that the US leads things here; the world’s biggest economy, 3rd most populous country, and arguably the biggest force in popular music in the world for the last century (also Discogs’ home country and one of our strongest user bases). Moving down the top ten, you have the bigger European countries, followed by Canada, Japan and Australia. Not a lot of surprises, but interesting to see the Netherlands ranking so high, being a smaller country.

Number of Record Shops per Country

Country Number of Shops Population Shops per 100.000 inhabitants
Name Number of Shops Population Shops per 100.000 inhabitants

Now, because I’m from a tiny country with an inferiority complex that never ranks high in anything (unless by capita) I also had a go at breaking things down by population.1 So there’s also a column for number of record stores per 100,000 inhabitants (click the column headings to order the table by that attribute). Well done Palau, but in your face Greenland (remember, second comes right after first)

Next, and perhaps more interesting, let’s break the number of record shops down by city. Here Tokyo wins the race, narrowly beating the German and English capitals. It makes sense that Tokyo would come out on top here as one of the world’s biggest cities known for its love of music and vinyl. It’s also notable that the Big Apple only comes in at 7th place. Perhaps some New York City treasures still need to be submitted to the database?

Number of Record Shops per City

Name Number of Shops
Name Number of Shops

With that basic stuff out of the way, let’s get cracking on some more interesting statistics. If you fancy an original and exciting trip, why not travel from Citadel Records in Madrid, Spain to Star Second-Hand Book – Music in Palmerston North, New Zealand. At just under 19,978 km apart, no two record shops in the VinylHub database are further apart. In fact, it is almost as far as you can get between any two points on earth (which is around 20,000 km).2 If you think the most exciting finds are in the most remote places, you should go to Tonga and visit the CD sellers at the market in Nuku’alofa. With 1993 km to the the closest shop (Marbecks in Auckland, New Zealand) it is the most remote record shop in the VinylHub database.

If you really want to get your digging on, but don’t want to walk too far from store to store, we also figured out the biggest clusters of record shops in the world. Here we define cluster as a collection of stores where there is at most one kilometer from one store to another.3 The biggest cluster is in Berlin, where 46 shops can be found within a kilometer of each other. Paris comes in next with a cluster of 43 shops. Third is Madrid, where one can traverse 30 shops without ever having to walk more than a 1000 meters between stops. See the ten biggest record store clusters in the map below (finding the shortest route for a travelling record digger to visit all of these shops has been left as an exercise to the reader).4

10 Biggest Clusters Of Record Stores On

Have any good ideas on what else we could do with our data? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook. Or download the data yourself and get cracking with your data science skills.

Help us build the most comprehensive database of record stores in the world: ensure your local record stores are in VinylHub, or get adding!

  1. Population data from Wolfram Alpha. (accessed 2017-09-14). 
  2. According to this guy on Quora anyway. 
  3. This was calculated with the DBSCAN algorithm (using the Scikit Learn library). If you are interested in the code used to calculate these stats checkout this gist
  4. Finding the right solution might land you a lot of money to buy records  

Keep Digging

Want to join the Discogs Community of music lovers?
Sign up for an account, subscribe to Discogs newsletters, and discover music articles, exclusive news, limited-edition offers, and more.
Return to Discogs Blog