Jul 19, 2022 - Economy & Business

Cassette tapes cannot be denied: Tape sales rising

An audio cassette tape alongside its case
Photo by Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Time to dust off your Walkman — cassette tapes might be coming back in style.

Driving the news: Sales of cassettes nearly doubled from 173,000 in 2020 to 343,000 in 2021, according to entertainment data tracker Luminate.

  • And so far in 2022, sales have totaled 215,000, signaling further growth.
  • Artists who've recently sold music as cassettes include Billie Eilish, The Weeknd and Ozzy Osbourne, notes Luminate researcher Paulina Pchelin.

The big picture: Nostalgia has already fueled a surge in sales for vinyl records, making them more popular than CDs — so why not cassettes, too?

  • Yes, but: Audiophiles will tell you that vinyl provides the best sound quality, a fact helping fuel their comeback. And after that would rank CDs, with cassettes a distant third.

Reality check: Let's just say Spotify isn't exactly shaking in its boots.

Go deeper