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Discogs is the Future of Record Sales: Resistance is Futile

Do you use Discogs when searching for records, CDs, or tapes? The most important platform for music just keeps on getting bigger.

Discogs logo

Raise your hand if you use Discogs. Us too. Like almost all of us here at the magazine. Based on the available data, the website had almost 48 million visits in June (which is down from close to 60 million in December 2020) and the average visit was almost 9 minutes in length. 9 minutes every single visit is a metric that few websites can claim but Discogs is not just any ordinary website.

The drop in traffic is clearly a sign of people spending time on vacation for the first time in 16 months and just trying to enjoy the outdoors before some folks decide to lock us down again based on current COVID trends. 48 million monthly visits puts Discogs in some very elite company and near the top of the list when it comes to music and movies. The website is on the verge of becoming a top 300 website.

I’m a relatively new user of the site and it’s hard to not be impressed by the sheer volume of relevant information when researching albums or trying to find a rare one that you’ve never been able to discover white crate digging. Finding obscure blues and jazz titles that you’ve only read about becomes far less difficult and the community (with a only a few exceptions) is very eager to help.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on their traffic and how music listeners bought and sold records with most of the planet in some form of lockdown and record stores shuttered in dozens of countries.

Discogs Total Orders 20202

Growth in global physical sales through the Discogs Marketplace was up 35.75% to 8,845,534 orders over the prior year. In total, 16,290,197 pieces of physical music were sold around the world, bringing an overall 40.12% increase year-over-year.

Discogs Vinyl Sales 2020 vs. 2019

Discogs data confirms that the most popular physical music format sold in 2020 was vinyl. In fact, vinyl sales have once again crossed a landmark threshold: a stunning 11,961,998 records sold through the Discogs, up 40.75% from 2019. CDs have also increased 37.18% year-over-year with 3,441,769 compact discs purchased. Interest in cassettes hasn’t died down, with a total of 282,798 sold through the Marketplace, a 33.33% increase over 2019.

Throughout the year, Discogs users were very busy cataloging and estimating the value of their music collections. An astonishing 140,189,018 items were added to Collections in 2020, up 41.02% from 2019. We’re also excited about the 1,229,384 new users that logged in to Discogs for the first time, a 20.32% increase compared to 2019.

Discogs have not released their H1 2021 report yet, but the recently released sales data was astonishing to say the least. Americans purchased 20 million new records in H1 2021 and that doesn’t include used record sales at all. With parts of Europe and Asia struggling to get through the new wave of COVID variant cases, it’s likely that consumers abroad have kept up with their American counterparts when it comes to record sales online.

If you’re not convinced after reading those statistics that Discogs are driving the market and that physical media still has a lot of life left in it — nothing will convince you.

We came to the consensus as a group during our recent podcast on the vinyl revolution that Discogs was an invaluable part of our record listening and a platform that had more influence on buying decisions than any other.

Discogs Best Selling Records April 2021

Another interesting metric that Discogs tracks each month are the best-selling records on the platform; the trend data has to be invaluable for record labels and it demonstrates that vinyl listeners are not all that predictable as a group. The most recent data demonstrates that Discogs users are all over the map; DMX, Lana Del Rey, Pharaoh Sanders & the London Symphony Orchestra, Daft Punk, Miles Davis, Joy Division, Pearl Jam, Aphex Twin, and the Buena Vista Social Club were huge sellers in April.

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If you don’t use Discogs for vinyl, it’s also a great resource or CDs and cassette tapes. The power of community helping you learn and grow your collection.

For more information: Discogs Vinyl Community

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Prodigy Schmodigy

    December 11, 2021 at 9:25 am

    I’m not impressed by Discogs, having had an appalling experience there. There are many reasons I think this website is a pox upon music, but the main one is: a total lack of respect for artists. The word discography relates to the official body of work released by an artist, yet on Discogs control over discographies resides with the public, not the artists themselves, so in effect total strangers who maybe have never even listened to, let alone paid for, any of an artist’s music retain control over that artist’s discography. What is to stop bootleg or unofficial recordings from being listed and sold? What measures are there for artists to retain control over their catalogue?

    Essentially Discogs is predatory and parasitic, making money off music without a penny of that going to the artist. The only people who benefit from Discogs are those who resell other people’s music, without their permission. The site is biased in favour of sellers, and against both buyers and musical artists.

    Support is non-existent, which drives legitimate queries and concerns into the hands of one of the most toxic, snooty and elitist communities I’ve ever come across online.

    All in all, Discogs is where music goes to die. Once buried alive under the weight of the Discogs technocracy, musical releases stop being living, vibrant, dynamic entities and instead become reduced to bar codes, metadata and often incorrect or outdated statistics.

    Above all, Discogs clearly isn’t suited to the digital age. It’s stuck in the era of physical media, totally unable to handle dynamically evolving digital releases. Avoid it like the plague, unless you hate art.


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