Saturday, 07 December 2019

2018: The year of the cassette revival


A report released this week from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) shows that cassette tape sales in 2018 are up a massive 125.3 per cent from 2017 - talk about a retro revival right? The report says that last year nearly 50,000 cassette albums were purchased, the largest volume of cassette sales since 2004. British band The 1975 is reported to have sold over 7,500 copies of their 'A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships' album on cassette. 

These are surprising figures considering the ease of access to online streaming platforms and it goes to show the psychical format will not go down without a fight! 

"2018 has been a fascinating year for the physical format, and labels that specialise in it saw an increase in sales. Its metamorphosis into a collectable artefact has accelerated, and more physical releases, whether on CD or vinyl, now come as special-edition box sets"  says Iain McNay, Chairman of Cherry Red Records. 

Not only has the Cassette seen a rise, but vinyl sales have also continued to increase for its 11th consecutive year according to the BPI report. In 208 there was a total of 4.2 million LP's purchased. The LP is up an astounding 200% in sales since 2007. This goes to show that even with online streaming services music lovers are still keen to buy into the physical format for collecting and gifting. 

"2018 saw another strong performance from the British recorded music business as consumers deepen their engagement with music in its myriad forms. Complemented by collectable physical formats on vinyl, CD and super deluxe box sets, streaming services are enabling more people to discover, enjoy and instantly share music they love. Music's global reach is also being extended by blockbuster movie soundtracks, such as 'The Greatest Showman', 'A Star is Born', 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again', and 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Geoff Taylor, CEO BPI & BRIT Awards

I'm sure there is a lot to be said about the rise in sales of the physical format, I myself am a record collector. The art of collecting physical music is one that I don't think will ever lose its charm. A sad week as we see the like of HMV facing closures, please remember to purchase your music from your local record or CD store as well as streaming online if you can!

Full report can be found here: https://www.bpi.co.uk/news-analysis/british-music-exports-reach-400-million-millennium-high/

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