Surprisingly, music streaming and album sales are down during coronavirus

With so many people around the world currently staying at home and self-isolating, you’d think now more than ever we’d be streaming music. Yet strangely, it seems the opposite is occurring.

The latest data trends from analytics provider, Alpha Data, shows that both streaming figures and album sales in the US have dropped in the last week.

spotify, streaming, album sales, coronaviru

Despite many people self-isolating due to coronavirus, new data shows that streaming figures and album sales have dropped in the US.

Alpha Data shows that during the week of March 13 to 19, music streaming dropped by 7.6%. Programmed streams, like Pandora, decreased by 9%, whilst on-demand streams, like Spotify, saw a drop of 7.3%.

Album and digital song sales followed a similar, yet even more drastic trend. Physical albums copped a massive 27.6% drop, whilst digital albums fell by 12.4%, and digital song sales by 10.7%. Unfortunately, with Amazon pausing any new shipments of physical music to their warehouse until April 5, these numbers are only likely to drop further.

The genres which saw a decline in listeners include pop, rap, R&B, and Latin music. Interestingly, three genres saw an increase: classical (by 1.5%), folk (by 2.9%), and children’s music (by 3.8%).

The data period covers the week that Americans began heavily self-quarantining, with all non-essential services simultaneously closing. Many of these businesses – restaurants, bars, and clubs – would normally be streaming music for hours each day, so it’s likely that their closure would have an impact on streaming figures. However, without more data it’s impossible to know how much.

An online petition recently called for Spotify to raise the percentage of streaming royalties it gives to musicians during this time. Whilst there have been no developments on that front, streaming royalties, however small, remain a source of revenue for artists. By simply listening to music you can help support artists economically during this difficult time.

Check out our list of ways to help artists from home for more on how you can personally make a difference.