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Cassette Tapes Sales Expanded To 90% In 2018 With AC/DC & Metallica Among Biggest Sellers

Published on August 7, 2018
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James Hetfield, cassette tapes and Angus Young © iStock & REX/Shuttestock

The humble cassette tape is continuing to enjoy a mini-resurgence in popularity, according to newly released figures.

Annual cassette sales were a meager 4,333 in 2013, however by 2017 this figure had mushroomed to 22,011 – more than double 2016’s sales tally of 10,912.

The Official Charts Company has today announced that cassette sales are already up 90% in 2018 compared to the same period last year.

More than 18,500 copies have already been bought since the beginning of the year across more than 80 releases, dwarfing the 9,753 cassettes sold from January to July in 2017.

Although cassettes account for less than 1% of the music market and the resurgence is significantly smaller than the vinyl revival, more and more people are snapping cassettes up as rare collectibles.

Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, says: “We’ve already seen a massive surge in vinyl sales and it looks as if cassettes are experiencing something similar.

“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.”

Among the Top 20 biggest selling cassettes of 2018 so far is AC/DC’s 1980 classic ‘Back In Black’ at number 14, which received a cassette reissue for Record Store Day in April.

The limited-edition reissue of Metallica’s 1987 EP ‘The $5.98 EP – Garage Days Re-Revisited’ is close behind AC/DC at number 15.

Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue has scored the biggest selling cassette of 2018 so far with her latest studio album ‘Golden’.

The annual cassette sales for the past 5 years are as follows:

2013 – 4,333 
2014 – 5,699 
2015 – 5,801 
2016 – 10,912
2017 – 22,011

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