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Cassette sales at 20-year peak thanks to Arctic Monkeys and Harry Styles

Sales have risen from 3,823 in 2012 to nearly 200,000 last year

Louis Chilton
Wednesday 19 April 2023 10:19 BST
Arctic Monkeys perform 'The Ultracheese'

Sales of cassette tapes are at their highest levels in 20 years.

The surge has been driven by high-selling releases from bands such as the Arctic Monkeys, and pop star Harry Styles.

According to new research from The British Phonographic Industry, sales of cassette tapes have risen for 10 consecutive years.

In 2012, the total number of cassette sales was just 3,823. In 2022, the annual figure had risen to 195,000.

However, cassette sales still lag far behind other formats, including vinyl records.

Also among the biggest selling cassette artists was Florence + the Machine. The best-selling cassette album of the year was The Car by Arctic Monkeys, released in October. Harry’s House by Styles followed in second place, while Florence + the Machine’s Dance Fever came in third.

Other artists to make the top 10 include Muse, Central Cee, Robbie Willimas, Blackpink, and Machine Gun Kelly.

The research also revealed that the Top 20 highest selling cassettes of the year were all new releases.

Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys (Getty)

Paul Williams, a spokesperson for the British Phonographic Industry, said (per Sky News): “Not long ago, people would have written off the cassette, but I think you have to learn the lessons of the vinyl market which had an incredible revival.

“It’s something at a lower level, but it is happening now with cassettes. There’s this return for people wanting to own music, to go out and buy.”

He added: “What we’ve noticed with the cassette market - the cassettes and the artists that are doing well are artists with real fan bases.”

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