In the United Kingdom almost 65,000 cassette tapes have already been sold in the first half of this year, which shows an enormous ‘boom’ in retro love in this area. Is the cassette now also on the rise?
Whether it has to do with Brits’ fondness for anything ‘traditional’? Or perhaps the Brexit, where subscribers to all kinds of streaming services have to wait and see what they will have to pay for access to their beloved tracks? Well, it probably has more to do with the fact that the ancient Sony Walkman that appeared on the market 40 years ago last year. And that as a result there is not only more attention for the medium cassette, but also that several retro-players for the old band have appeared in recent times. Anyway, a certain group of youngsters seems to have a penchant for the past. Beard, band, you know…. The antique cassette tape sells well anyway, we read at among others Whathifi.
Less advanced than before
Now it is fair to say that many cassette players that are now being released are less perfected than the copies from decades or so ago. Often all kinds of extras are missing, including the essential Dolby noise reduction system. Even recently produced cassette decks lack these features. Mechanically it’s all a bit less than before. Nice gimmicks like Bluetooth – to connect your cassette player wirelessly to an equally wireless headphone – don’t solve these shortcomings. Also the better Chrometapes (not to mention Metal at all) are not, or hardly, available. It all has to be a real lo-fi experience. And well, I’m sure it will have its charm too. Until today’s user also discovers that that cassette can get stuck, get tangled up or do other nasty things.
So it’s a hype? Let’s hope so. At the same time vinyl – of course also an analog system with all its specific things around it – seems to have conquered a more or less fixed place in the market. Why is that? Well, apparently there are still people who want to hold something in their hands. And of course that’s allowed!
By the way: the number of 65,000 bands sold in six months is a lot. Especially if the predictions show that sales numbers could break through the magic limit of 100,000 this year. But at the same time it is a pittance compared to what is streamed and digitally consumed in music. Many songs are already streamed far over 100 million times a piece. In short: everything is relative, including the cassette.