Amazon Suspends CD and Vinyl Mass-Ordering, Prioritizes Food and Medical Deliveries

A London record store (photo: Clem Onojeghuo)

In an effort to more quickly and effectively distribute food and medical supplies, Amazon has temporarily stopped mass-ordering of CDs and vinyl records.

The purchasing pause is expected to last until at least April 5th, at which time Amazon’s processing capacity—and the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—will be evaluated. In the interim, shoppers will still be able to buy CDs and vinyl records that are already stocked in Amazon warehouses. These and other non-essential orders, however, will likely be subject to long shipping delays.

More customers are remaining indoors because of the coronavirus crisis, and widespread panic-buying has produced nationwide food and medical supply shortages. Consequently, demand for Amazon’s delivery services has shot through the roof—so much so that the company is upping its hourly pay and looking to hire 100,000 new employees.

For artists and record labels, the mass-ordering freeze may come with something of a silver lining, as there probably won’t be as many counterfeit CDs and vinyl products sold to unwitting customers.

While vinyl sales have enjoyed substantial growth for 14 consecutive years, the beloved music format has had a rough couple of months.

In February, Apollo Masters, one of two companies known to produce the lacquer used to press vinyl masters, burned down. No one was hurt in the blaze, but the tragedy shocked record labels, artists, and vinyl fans.

And last week, Record Store Day 2020 was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic; the anticipated, internationally celebrated event is now scheduled to take place in June.

Meanwhile, President Trump and Congress are in the process of negotiating a sizable stimulus package designed to alleviate the economic strain caused by the coronavirus. Earlier today, President Trump announced that the U.S.-Canada border will be closed to non-essential traffic, excluding trade; yesterday, Canada closed its own border to all non-citizens besides Americans.

On the international front, parts of Europe are still struggling to contain COVID-19’s spread. Over 2,000 Spain residents tested positive for COVID-19 overnight, and Italy reported more than 4,000 additional diagnoses.

According to the most recently released figures, close to 215,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide, and approximately 8,000 of these sufferers live in the United States.