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Sales up 90% in the UK this year so far… for music cassettes


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From big numbers with Spotify and Live Nation to… smaller numbers with a familiar old music-format: the cassette.

The UK’s Official Charts Company has revealed that sales of music cassettes more than doubled in 2017, and are up an additional 90% so far in 2018 (which, if you were being unkind, you could spin as a CASSETTES SLOWDOWN, but let’s not).

The OCC is open about the fact that all this growth is coming from a very small base: just over 22k cassettes were sold in the UK last year, and 18.5k so far this year across little more than 80 releases. The top-selling cassette this year in the UK, meanwhile, sold just 2,847 copies – Kylie Minogue’s ‘Golden’ album.

“While the sales are off a low base, it is remarkable that UK music fans have already snapped up almost as many cassettes in 2018 as they did in the whole of 2017 – and almost four times the levels of 3/4 years ago,” said OCC boss Martin Talbot.

Given the popularity of cassettes as a format sold on merch stalls and through D2C channels, we suspect the true size of this market, while still small, is a bit bigger. And for some independent bands, it’s a revenue stream not to be sniffed at.

Stuart Dredge

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