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Discogs Sales Rose 40% in 2020 as Vinyl Led the Way

Versus Creative/Discogs

CD and cassette sales also saw sizable bumps across the marketplace.

Overall sales of physical music on online music marketplace Discogs saw a 40.12% increase in 2020 over the year prior, the company reported today in its year-end wrap up, with a total of 16.29 million pieces of physical music -- vinyl records, CDs and cassettes -- sold. The total number of orders, at 8.85 million, jumped 35.78% over the year prior.

Unsurprisingly, as sales of it the format have been growing across the board for more than a decade, vinyl led the way in terms of popular formats on the marketplace. Just shy of 12 million records -- 11,961,998 is the exact figure -- changed hands, a 40.75% bump over the year prior. That number accounts for around 75% of the sales volume on the platform, and is the first time the raw figures passed 10 million (last year’s total was 8.5 million). CDs also saw a sizable jump in sales, up 37.14% to 3.44 million, while cassette sales were up by a third, to 282,798.

2020 also saw another record set on the site: the most expensive record ever sold. That distinction goes to Scaramanga Silk’s Choose Your Weapon, which went for just north of $41,000 in December 2020. Mourning Phase’s 1971 self-titled vinyl test pressing sold for $10,976 to come in at No. 2 for the year, while the original 1967 seven-inch of Ray Agee’s "Hard Lovin’ Woman / I’m Losing Again" was the third-highest price paid, at $6,713.

Overall in 2020, a Record Store Day re-pressing of Billie Eilish’s live set from Third Man Records was No. 1, followed by a Japanese reissue of Nujabes’ 2005 album Modal Soul, a 2016 180-gram vinyl release of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories and Peggy Gou’s Moment EP. Meanwhile, the most-collected masters of the year -- albums added to most users’ collections regardless of format -- were classics from the 1960s and 1970s: in order, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.

For more data, including the best-selling albums by genre -- the most popular being rock, pop, electronic, jazz and funk/soul -- check out the Discogs site here.