Cassette sales almost doubled in 2020 to their highest level in 17 years.
The unlikely revival of the humble cassette has been gathering pace since 2018, with sales steadily increasing as more artists release their latest albums on the retro format.
According to the end-of-year report by music industry body the BPI, sales were up 94.7% in 2020 compared to the previous year, with 156,542 cassettes sold in the UK – the highest total since 2003.
Sales on the format remain tiny in the context of the overall music market (around 0.2%), but the increase shows the cassette revival is far from over yet.
The UK's best-selling cassette of 2020 was Lady Gaga's Chromatica, which sold 14,000 copies on the format, according to Official Charts Company data. 8,600 of those were sold in its first week, when the record debuted at Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart with impressive opening week chart sales of 53,000.
The popularity of cassettes appears not to be limited to one particular genre, instead favouring acts who have harnessed a fanbase of avid collectors: albums by The 1975, Kylie Minogue, Haim, The Streets, Gorillaz, Michael Ball & Alfie Boe and AC/DC all appear in the top sellers of 2020.
The rise in cassette sales also demonstratees the fan appeal of music in tangible formats as a complement to streaming, which rose to new record highs in 2020. Drew Hill, MD Proper Music Distribution, said: "As we celebrate this streaming boom, it’s important we also remember the ongoing fan demand for something tangible, and recognise that streaming and physical music coexist quite happily."
Official Top 40 best-selling cassettes of 2020
|2||CALM||5 SECONDS OF SUMMER|
|4||NOTES ON A CONDITIONAL FORM||1975|
|8||FUTURE NOSTALGIA||DUA LIPA|
|9||WOMEN IN MUSIC - PT 3||HAIM|
|10||NONE OF US ARE GETTING OUT OF THIS LIFE||STREETS|
|11||ALL DISTORTIONS ARE INTENTIONAL||NECK DEEP|
|12||SONG MACHINE SEASON ONE - STRANGE TIMEZ||GORILLAZ|
|13||WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS||STEPS|
|14||TOGETHER AT CHRISTMAS||MICHAEL BALL & ALFIE BOE|
|15||MUSIC PLAYED BY HUMANS||GARY BARLOW|
|16||YOUNG DUMB THRILLS||MCFLY|
|17||ORDINARY MAN||OZZY OSBOURNE|
|18||BRIGHTEST BLUE||ELLIE GOULDING|
|20||DEEP DOWN HAPPY||SPORTS TEAM|
|22||A CELEBRATION OF ENDINGS||BIFFY CLYRO|
|24||NOTHING IS TRUE & EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE||ENTER SHIKARI|
|27||FAKE IT FLOWERS||BEABADOOBEE|
|29||GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - AWESOME MIX 1||ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK|
|30||LIVE AROUND THE WORLD||QUEEN & ADAM LAMBERT|
|32||DEDICATED - SIDE B||CARLY RAE JEPSEN|
|33||FOOLISH LOVING SPACES||BLOSSOMS|
|35||OPEN UP YOUR HEAD||SEA GIRLS|
|36||WHAT'S THE STORY MORNING GLORY||OASIS|
|38||GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - AWESOME MIX 2||ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK|
|39||SEX DEATH & THE INFINITE VOID||CREEPER|
|40||JUNK FOOD||EASY LIFE|
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