They may have taken an age to rewind and fast-forward while offering sound quality some way below CD or Vinyl quality but cassette tapes are making a comeback in 2019.
Fuelled by hipsters and nostalgia fiends alike, 2018’s cassette tape sales saw a drastic leap of 125.3% when compared to 2017 and accounted for the largest volume sold since 2004.
Nearly 50,000 cassette albums were bought last year, according to new figures from the British Phonographic Industry.
2018’s biggest-selling act on cassette was The 1975: their latest album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, sold a very decent indeed 7,523 copies, despite the band’s distinctly modern sound and young gan base.
They were joined in the top 10 by The Prodigy (their no.1 album No Tourists reaching 2,148 cassette sales) and both editions of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack – Awesome Mix 1 & 2 – which have maintained popularity thanks to savvy marketing focused on the use of the tape format by Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord in the Marvel films – clever sods.
Vinyl record sales are now at their highest level since the early 90s with over 1 in 10 of all physical albums purchased now on vinyl.
In total, there were 4.2 million records sold in the UK during 2018. Not bad going for a dead format.
The push towards more nostalgic, non-digital formats hasn’t extended into the CD market just yet though.
While plenty of music fans are still making use of their CD players (including the people that inexplicably helped get three Now That’s What I Call Music compilations into 2018’s top 10 albums), there has been a sharp decline in the numbers being sold across the past decade.
32 million CDs were sold in 2018 – that’s almost 100 million fewer than in 2008. Ouch. Although this isn’t really surprising when you consider that sales are experiencing an average drop of 9.6 million sales year-on-year.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.