Amazon sacrifices discs to make room for gels and masks

The online distribution giant announces that it will no longer receive stocks of vinyl and CDs to receive extra supplies of basic necessities

After the avalanche of cancellations of concerts that have left the music industry untouched, the Coronavirus continues to cause harmful effects to musicians. Distribution giant Amazon, the number one seller of records in the United States, has announced that it will no longer receive “stock” of records in its warehouses to make room for essential products against the pandemic. Although nobody can argue that the objective of this measure is correct, there is no doubt that it is another blow to music and its industry. Although the global impact of physical sales and the world’s most listened to artists is small, in the case of independent labels and non-massive artists this new difficulty may be more serious.

The company is receiving a strong increase in orders for disinfectant gels, masks, gloves and other types of products designed to prevent contagion. Therefore, to give priority to the distribution of this urgent and sanitary demand, the discs will have to wait. In any case, the company assures that it will continue to serve the albums they have stored, but that it will not store new stocks.

This situation was detrimental to Record Store Day (RSD), which used to be held on April 18 and has been delayed to June 20. Around the RSD many artists release limited or special editions of their work in physical format. In the United States, the physical market accounts for just 10 percent of the total, according to a 2019 industry study, but vinyl sales have seen a 19 percent rise in the prior year. Together, both markets total $ 1 billion.


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