Music Sales in 2017: Discogs Mid-Year Marketplace Analysis & Database Highlights

by falsepriest

Can you believe we’re already past the midpoint of 2017? That means it’s time for us to crack open our books and reveal the data we’ve collected from the Discogs Database and Marketplace for a better look at music sales in 2017 and Discogs’ growth. And, once again, we’re comparing some of our numbers to the Nielsen Music Mid-Year Report. The Nielsen Music report provides comprehensive insights into what people are listening to and how they are listening. This data informs our understanding of how the music industry – and the music consumers – are changing.

So, read on for some mid-year highlights and leave us a comment to let us know how you think the music industry will change in the next six months. We can’t wait to hear what’s coming next.

Mid-Year Highlights:

  • Contrary to Nielsen Music reporting that physical album sales are down (-17%) with a total of 46.9M sold, Discogs’ Marketplace sales are up (+15.6%) with a total of 4,584,637 sold thus far.
  • The Discogs Database has shown growth year-over-year (+8.22%) with a total of 698,301 submissions during the first half of 2017. The highest number of submissions were of the vinyl variety with a total of 318,238 – equal to over 45% of the submissions.
  • The most popular physical music format sold this year has been vinyl, with an increase in sales year-over-year (+13.92%). However, CDs have seen the most growth in sales (+23.23%).
  • New Release sales from Discogs have seen extraordinary growth year-over-year (+123.81%) with a total of 90,453 sales, compared to last year’s 40,415 sales. Catalog sales (releases 18-month and older) have also increased (+11.91%) over last year.
  • The most popular genres sold in the Discogs Marketplace are Rock, Electronic, and Funk/Soul. However, both Classical (+35.42%) and Blues (+20.95%) genres have seen a large year-over-year increase in sales.

Dive deeper into the state of the music industry with some infographics, and download the full report here.

Nielsen vs. Discogs: Growth in Physical Music Sales


Nielsen vs. Discogs: Top 10 Vinyl Album Sales

Top 10 vinyl record sales of 2017, Nielsen Music data compared to Discogs marketplace data

Discogs Database Growth

Get the full song and dance on music sales in 2017. Download our Discogs 2017 Mid-Year Database and Marketplace Analysis.

18 comments about “Music Sales in 2017: Discogs Mid-Year Marketplace Analysis & Database Highlights
  • nlfn 4 months ago
    your database growth 2017 vs 2016 is a terribly misleading and confusing infogram as the yearly percentages are not based on the same figures.

    http://imgur.com/a/Wq4WM (inside is 2016, outside is 2017) is an accurate presentation of this same data
  • 45ep33lp 4 months ago
    I enjoyed this, thought it was pretty cool. Also, @nlfn nice graph
  • Yemsky 4 months ago
    nlfn is right with his criticism, but the suggested chart is still misleading as the various growth rates do not add up to "a full circle" and do not at all correctly represent the share of total database (or their respective growth) though the chart suggest this.
  • growlgrowl 4 months ago
    The top new albums list is an interesting; liking the jazz/ soul/ hiphop element. And that Bowie album is superb!!
  • meberl 4 months ago
    I also agree with nlfn, these growth charts are rubbish.
  • strawberrybrick 4 months ago
    Just looks like discogs.com has an older audience than Nielsen...
  • uniteegolf 4 months ago
    Yes, I agree that in general the statistics could be presented in a different way as the infographics can be interpreted in a number of different ways as previous comments suggest. Whilst the summary is 'interesting' I don't find it necessarily useful. I suspect I'm not dissimilar to many discoggers in that my interests lay in specific genres e.g. reggae, funk/soul, hip-hop. So for me, I would like the headlining categories of top sales, formats, etc. to be organised around genres. That way I could see releases/sales for reggae genre based on format, year, artists, etc. It maybe this could be provided by way of a spreadsheet or csv file that users could manipulate and filter to create specific reports/views.
  • zapguz 4 months ago
    Hello all here, great these numbers but remember that it brought discogs tons of money and I am waiting for the reinvest of that money in a better working database, with easier ways to add a release, removing of the double or tripple entries, a better telephone app and finally, lower rates for sellers. Bye Guus aka ZaPGuZ
  • tele52 4 months ago
    Great!!!!! Yellow on discogs logo again!!!
  • Warehouse_Sale 4 months ago
    Nielsen stats concern US market only.
    Discogs stats concern the global market (therefore more accurate).
    It would be nice a comparison between global Nielsen's (do they exist?) and Discogs' stats.
  • marcelb7 4 months ago
    Re: Warehouse_Sale
    Also, does Nielsen track second hand/pre-loved vinyl? I don't think so.
    What's the share of new vs. second hand/older items on Discogs?
  • marcelb7 4 months ago
    Ah.. never mind that last bit. I read over the 'new release' section in the highlights ;-)
  • lee_clayton 4 months ago
    These infographics are terrible and misleading.
  • davespr777 4 months ago
    First off, thank-you for presenting us with this info. Although I agree with the negatives on the comparison graphics, the database and marketplace analysis linked page clears up the pie chart confusions. Something I would like to see more of is the waitlist compilation. I could learn a lot from a list of the top 300-500 LP/album wants. Looking at top tens or 30's is a snooze. Though I was surprised to see a New Order make one of those lists. And for me, combining genres is most useful. It puts everything into a broad based global context, which is a very informative tool to use when selling vintage vinyl in today's marketplace.
  • bowiebowie 4 months ago
    I notice lots of vinyls have changed hands...........
  • lashing 4 months ago
    This is the worst "data" or interpretation of it I have ever seen in any industry. Garbage information.
  • nhodge 3 months ago
    I love these high level views of the data. Thanks!
  • aeneuman 3 months ago
    It is not surprising that Nielsen might show a decrease of Album Sales while Discogs has an increase. As conventional retail availability shrinks, interested buyers gravitate to specialist sites that carry their favorites and can be conveniently purchased relatively speaking.