What a year 2020 has been, does it look any better in numbers?
Seeing how popular 2019's facts, figures and conjecture post was (it's almost like you all care more about stats than our opinions and really, really good vocabulary), we've looked back over the last twelve months and polished up some 2020 stats for you.
We would quickly point out that amongst ALL of the good, bad and ugly of 2020, we've actually had our biggest ever year by a country mile at Drift. It's been massive. Thank you one and all for your orders, your regular custom, your kind messages and being in touch.
Records of the Month(s)
Firstly, the year is always divided into twelve equal pieces with an album per month that we love to champion. 2020's #ROTM were all absolute belters and naturally featured in our Deluxe Records of the Year edition.
January - Field Music - Making a New World* You can read our 2020 edition of Deluxe online here.
February - Shopping - All Or Nothing
March - Porridge Radio - Every Bad
April - Yves Tumor - Heaven To A Tortured Mind
May - Tim Burgess - I Love The New Sky
June - Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network - Ballet Of Apes
July - Laura Marling - Song For Our Daughter
August - Kelly Lee Owens - Inner Song
September - Bill Callahan - Gold Record
October - Mary Lattimore - Silver Ladders
November - Tiña - Positive Mental Health Music
December - Mirry - Mirry
The year's biggest sellers
We don't often go on about the actual commerce part of what we do as it can be quite misleading and we often feel quite an affinity with records that don't necessarily sell in droves. However, for the fact fans, here are 2020's biggest sellers.
1. Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher
2. Paul McCartney - McCartney III
3. Mirry - Mirry
3. Matt Berninger - Serpentine Prison
4. Fuzz - III
4. Kelly Lee Owens - Inner Song
5. Neil Young - Homegrown
6. Fontaines D.C. - A Hero's Death
7. Sufjan Stevens - The Ascension
8. Khruangbin - Mordechai
9. Working Men’s Club - Working Men’s Club
10. IDLES - Ultra Mono
Now Then Playing.
As you well know, we're not formatists at Drift, jumping between records, CDs, occasionally a tape in the car and plenty of streaming. We can't count the physical plays easily, but as Spotify is so easy for reporting this sort of thing, we can tell you that we streamed over 64,430 minutes in the shop in 2020, with our most regular go-to artists being...
1. ThundercatSpotify (and other streaming sites) are really useful, but we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot here if we did not mention that the pay structure is horrendous, it's basically a racket. They pay between $0.00331 and $0.00437 per stream, roughly £3.00 per 1000 streams.
2. Thee Oh Sees/OSEES
3. Four Tet
4. Peel Dream Magazine
6. Fiona Apple
8. Aoife Nessa Frances
9. Sarah Davachi
10. Kate NV
Some good reading;
+ The Guardian: Musicians ask Spotify to triple payments.
+ Rolling Stone: Spotify Dreams of Artists Making a Living.
All the love
2020 was the year where Record Store Day was postponed, then rearranged, then cancelled again, then delivered three times. It was weird. In its place - when we needed it most - we got shown a lot of love with Love Record Stores. What a weekend that was. Only last month we announced the #LRS Albums of the Year chart and we were blown away by all of the amazing exclusive editions we received. Record Store Day has already moved once in 2021 to now occupy a Saturday in June, that will not be the only one for your diaries folks!
Also in hot demand has been our Dinked initiative. We announced our 89th edition before the Christmas break and looking at the schedule, January is stacked, so keep your peepers peeled for more more more.
So what now?
Well, we hate having our door shut. We really love being a record shop and having spent the very vast majority of the year behind a closed door has been grim. As we write this we're technically still allowed to have you all in, but this will surely change in the next hours, days and weeks. Irrespective of this, we made the choice to do what feels sensible to us and operate online again for the time being. We're here, we can pass things out to you, we just can't quantify the risks of having people in right now. The Winter will pass and we feel that the Spring is going to start to feel quite different. We're shooting for that, and when the days become longer and warmer, we're going to have the door open, the coffee machine purring and the stereo pumping.
In the meantime, we're working hard to make the Drift website function ever better. It'll never replicate actually browsing our racks, but we're going to try our damnedest to make it fun.
Thanks for a weird year.