'Another tough quarter': Physical music felt the heat in Q2, says Kantar report

'Another tough quarter': Physical music felt the heat in Q2, says Kantar report

Physical music sales dropped 11% year-on-year in the 12 weeks to June 30, according to new research from Kantar.

Last week’s ERA numbers may have found the entertainment retail sector to be in rude health once streaming subscriptions are factored in, but market insight specialists Kantar’s stats show that the physical side of the business continues to decline.

Amazon once again dominated the physical music sector, according to Kantar, with a 24% market share over the period. HMV’s market share was 19.8%, down from 24.8% in the same period in 2018, as the retailer adjusted to the fallout from going into administration and life under the new management of Doug Putman’s Sunrise Records.

Independent stores were the main beneficiaries, with the sector’s music market share hitting 19.2%, up from 15% in the same period in 2018. According to Kantar, indie sales were up 14%, while vinyl sales rose 9% across independent stores, but only 5% across the entire category.

Kantar’s consumer specialist Claire McClelland said: “It’s been another tough quarter for the physical music market, with HMV store closures contributing to a 11% fall in sales.

“However, the summer festival season is now in full swing and retailers will be hoping the music events translate into spend at the tills in the coming weeks. In the past year, half of all festival or concert-goers reported an instant impact on their listening habits, while a third said the occasion re-ignited their love for an album or artist. Crucially, 13% went out to pick up a physical CD of the artist.”

Physical sales of all entertainment, including video and games, were down 19% year-on-year, with a quieter release slate compared to 2018 – when The Greatest Showman was ruling video and music sales – shouldering the blame.

Amazon grew its market share across all physical entertainment by 2.9 points to 25%. HMV, which is concentrating more on music under Putman, dropped 3.3% to 14.4%. All the big supermarkets dropped market share as shelf space for entertainment continued to be squeezed.

* For more on HMV’s vinyl-based revamp, see this week’s print edition of Music Week, out today. To subscribe and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.

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