HOUSTON — Why are cassette tapes making a comeback?
For people of a certain age cassette tapes bring back a lot of memories, from your first mixtape from a significant other to the unbelievable frustration of trying to tape a broken cassette back together.
But now these relics from the 20th century are making a comeback.
Entertainment data tracker Luminate says the sales of cassettes nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021, and this year’s sales numbers signal further growth. Now artists not even alive when cassettes were first popular are releasing albums on tape like Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift.
The driving force behind this comeback appears to simply be nostalgia. Cassettes were the most popular audio format in the 80’s, enjoying a decade of dominance before getting erased by CD’s.
Right now, 80’s nostalgia is enjoying its moment in the sun as shows like Stranger Things fuel a renewed interest in everything from banana clips to mullets. It also helps that 80’s kids are now middle-aged with the disposable income to indulge in some childhood nostalgia.
But before you dust off that Walkman, experts point out that sales of cassette tapes will not threaten the popularity of streaming sites any time soon.
Also, any audiophile will tell you cassette’s sound quality is pretty bad. Their popularity was originally driven by how cheap they were to make and the ability to record your own. But if you feel like running up that hill head down to your local mall for the latest hits on cassette.