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Amazon Stops Accepting Vinyl and CD Shipments

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Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for the sales of physical media, Amazon has “temporarily disabled shipment creation,” according to Variety:

“’We are seeing increased online shopping, and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock,’ Amazon said in a statement to third-party sellers this week. ‘With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers. For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation. … We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritize these products for customers.’”

Of course, there are still, like, a bajillion other websites where one can purchase physical media… which is to say nothing of the fact that this won’t impact streaming in the least. Still, Amazon is currently the world’s largest record retailer, and the Variety report goes on to posit that “many smaller labels with constituencies that aren’t satisfied by streaming could be devastated if Amazon turns them away for long”:

“Lest anyone think that physical media is so diminished in the face of streaming that no one should be concerned about a hiatus, recent stats tell a different tale for how much it means to some labels. A study released by the RIAA in February said that physical sales accounted for just 10% of the music marketplace in 2019. But while CD sales were down 12% for the year, to $615 million in revenue, vinyl sales were actually up by 19%, bringing in $504 million in sales — marking the biggest year for vinyl since 1988. Even as one format wanes while the other waxes, vinyl and CDs together are still a billion-dollar annual business. Or at least they were, pre-coronavirus.”

You can read Variety‘s full report here. Assuming you have some extra cash to spend right now, most, if not all, independent record labels — e.g., pretty much every notable metal label save for a few — have their own webstores. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you headed over there and bought a CD and/or vinyl or two to help them out right now…

[via Metal Injection]

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