Cassette sales in the UK have risen by 90% in the first half of 2018 according to a new report by Official Charts.
Over 18,500 tapes were sold in the UK in the first six months of 2018, almost doubling the 9,753 that had been sold in the same period last year. By the end of 2017, 22,011 cassettes had been sold, compared to the previous year’s total of 10,912.
These figures all point to a continued revival of the tape format. This resurgence has been spurred on in the past couple of years largely thanks to multiple mainstream artists like Kylie Minogue, Snow Patrol, 30 Seconds To Mars and Manic Street Preachers re-adopting the medium. Not only that, but the soundtracks for Guardians of the Galaxy and Stranger Things being released on an aptly “vintage” format has also lead to a rekindled popularly for cassettes.
Of course, the above figures only factor in major releases. The magnitude of the cassette revival becomes even more sizable when you consider the increased prevalence of independent, underground labels on platforms like Bandcamp embracing the cost-effective format.
Despite the recent and ongoing resurgence, cassette sales still make-up less than 1% of the overall music market.
Back in January, we caught up with some artists and labels releasing music via cassette and examined the ways in which the revival can be seen as essential for the world electronic and dance music.