Cassette tapes making a comeback
By Joe Gibel
Cassette tapes are back in demand in 2017 as more artists release content on the format.
According to an article published by the Windsor Star, sales of cassette tapes jumped almost 80 per cent to about 7,000 copies in 2016.
The unexpected revival could be traced back to when a group of music retailers launched Cassette Day in 2013. The celebration was inspired by Record Store Day, which acknowledges the importance of record stores and the vinyl music format. The resurgence in vinyl collecting could also be a factor in the interest and the overall cheapness of collecting tapes.
“I definitely had a big increase in tape sales last year from the year previous. Hard to nail down just one reason,” said Scott Woodall, owner of Vintage and Vinyl in LaSalle. “Some people who just like to collect may be a bit miffed how the vinyl resurgence has driven prices on records upwards, so they are looking for other media to collect. They can still buy low before the hobby grows larger.”
Artists like Kanye West, Metallica and Eminem re-releasing cassette tapes also brought back interest in mainstream collecting. However, some stores are still skeptical about the trend and claim sales have hardly changed for them.
“We never bothered getting back into cassettes. We sell them occasionally, maybe a few a day and only used copies,” said Liam O’Donnell, owner of Dr. Disc in Windsor. “New tapes, nobody showed too much interest. Most people buy them for their cars. That’s one trend that’s hard to get behind.”
Even though there is an interest in new tapes being bought and sold, some collectors are still out hunting in thrift stores and used bins at independent record stores.
“As a collector, it’s too easy to find CDs, and vinyl is back in full swing with reissues and new releases,” said Dane Amlin, music fan and long-time tape collector. “But if you want to have a rad tape collection, you have to hunt for it.”
With the increased interest in cassettes it may only be a little longer before Sony will reissue the legendary Walkman.