Record Breaking Numbers: Mid-Year Marketplace Analysis & Database Highlights

Record Breaking Numbers: Mid-Year Marketplace Analysis & Database Highlights

Read the words, “Marketplace analysis” or “database highlights,” and you may find yourself immediately hitting the back button on your browser. However, we’ve found that the numbers we’ve collected from the Discogs Marketplace and Nielsen Mid-Year Report tell us a story of just how much the music industry can change within a year.

We’ve assembled the data to not only show you what music people are buying, but what format of music they’re buying, as well. And, we’ll be comparing how the CD and Vinyl numbers from the Marketplace compare to the Nielsen Mid-Year Report. Read on for infographics and highlights from the first part of 2016 and how the numbers stack up to last year.

Mid-Year Highlights

According to the Nielsen Mid-Year Report and Discogs Marketplace sales data:

  • CD sales were down 11.6% over 2015 with a total of 50,000,000 copies sold. Discogs Marketplace CD sales have increased by 27.93%.
  • Digital album and digital track sales were both down year-over-year with digital albums down 18.4% and track sales down 23.9%.
  • Vinyl/LP sales were up 11.5% year-over-year with a total of 6,200,000. Discogs reflects the same trend with Vinyl sales in our Marketplace up by 23.5%.
  • New physical album sales were at 21,200,000 – down 20% year-over-year.
  • Cassette sales in the Discogs Marketplace continue to trend upward, with a 42.59% increase over last year.
  • The highest number of Discogs Database submissions were Files, making up 33.82% of submissions. The second highest number of submissions were of the Vinyl variety, making up 32.28% of submissions.
  • Overall Catalog sales* (releases 18 months or older) decreased by 8% and New Releases decreased by 20% over 2015.
  • Comparatively, Catalog sales in the Discogs Marketplace increased by 26% with 558,805 more sales than New Releases. Discogs’ New Release sales have increased by 25% over last year.

*Nielsen’s Catalog sales include physical albums, digital albums, and digital tracks. Discogs Catalog sales include physical albums only.

Check out the following infographics comparing Nielsen’s data to Discogs Marketplace sales.

Nielsen vs. Discogs Sales Comparison
Comparison of Nielsen vs. Discogs’ mid-year sales data for CD and Vinyl

Nielsen vs. Discogs Marketplace Sales Comparison 
Nielsen vs. Discogs Top 10 LP Vinyl Album Sales
Nielsen’s Top 10 Vinyl/LP albums compared to Discogs’ Top 10 of this year so far, based on sales.

Nielsen vs. Discogs Top 10 LP Vinyl Album Marketplace Sales

Nielsen (Sales by Format) vs. Discogs (Contributions by Format)
Percentage of formats contributed to Discogs’ Database and Nielsen’s percentage breakdown of music sales.

Nielsen (Sales by Format) vs. Discogs (Contributions by Format)

So far, 2016 continues to see Vinyl/LPs make a comeback and is making a mark in physical music sales. Vinyl/LPs continue to be one of the most submitted and most popular selling format in our Marketplace. Along the same lines, cassette sales continue to trend upward at a staggering pace. Digital music sales have continued to decline with more folks latching on to streaming services like Spotify.

Our user-contributed database only continues to grow with a total of 643,765 releases. What will next year look like? Leave your predictions in the comments below.

Get the full song and dance by downloading our 2016 Mid-Year Review: Marketplace Analysis & Database Highlights

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