Cassette player sales on the up

Radio listener

Tesco has reported a 24 per cent increase in cassette player sales over the past year, as consumers continue to flock to retro formats to enjoy their music. 

The supermarket chain began selling cassette players in 2016, and says there has been double-digit growth for two years.

Dan Kirwin, audio buying manager for the supermarket, told The Times: ‘Customers have told us that they’re buying them to play old mixtapes, while parents are also using them to play their old story tapes to their kids.’

Meanwhile, electronics manufacturer Groove-e has reported 20,000 sales over two years of its retro style Shoebox portable cassette player and recorder.

More than 80 albums were released on cassette last year, driving almost 20,000 sales – the highest level of cassette sales in more than a decade, following 21,019 units sold in 2006.

Music on physical formats was led by the vinyl revival, with over four million LPs purchased in 2017 – marking a decade of consecutive growth to levels not seen since 1991.

Acts including Royal Blood, Jay Z and Lana Del Rey are among those who have released limited runs of their albums on cassette tape.

The top five cassette sales of 2017, as reported by Official Charts, were The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, Kasabian’s For Crying Out Loud, Enter Shikari’s The Spark, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott’s Crooked Calypso and Awesome Mix 1 of The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack.

In 2013, BBC Radio 1 DJ Jen Long collaborated with Steven Rose of Sexbeat Records and Matt Flag of Suplex Cassettes to create Cassette Store Day, a day to dedicated to the format.

Over 300 bands and labels worldwide participated in last year’s event, including The White Stripes, who reissued their first three albums onto white tape.

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