Sales of cassettes have reached their highest level in almost two decades as artists including the Arctic Monkeys and Harry Styles fuel demand for the retro format.

According to the BPI, the representative body for music labels, there were 195,000 cassettes sold in 2022. The top-sellers were Arctic Monkeys’ The Car, Harry’s House by Harry Styles and Dance Fever by Florence and the Machine.

Cassettes were the top-selling format for albums released in the UK between 1985 and 1992 when the compact disc began its rise to dominance. By 2012, fewer than 4,000 cassettes a year were being sold.

While the vinyl revival over the past decade has been well documented, cassette sales have also slowly risen. Industry insiders said the unexpected revival could be due to a mixture of nostalgia and a desire from consumers for choice in how they listen to music.

While tapes remain a tiny part of the overall music market, sales are now at their highest since 2003, when the two most popular titles were Now That’s What I Call Music compilations and Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell’s best-selling album

Sophie Jones, interim chief executive of the BPI, said: “For many of us growing up, cassettes were a rite of passage as we listened to our favourite artists. So it’s heartening that this once much-loved format is back in vogue, even if still a tiny part of music consumption overall.

“While streaming is by far the leading format, the renewed popularity of cassettes and vinyl highlights the continuing importance of the physical market and the many ways fans have to consume music.”

FTSE 100

The UK's top share index, the FTSE 100, was down four-points at 7,894 shortly after opening this morning, following yesterday's 10-point drop

Brent crude futures were -1.05% lower at $82.25 a barrel.

Companies reporting today

  • BHP Group - Q3 operational review
  • Centamin - Q1 production report
  • Dunelm - Q3 trading statement
  • Rentokil - Q1 operational review
  • Rio Tinto - Q1 operational review
  • Segro - Q1 trading statement
  • Volvo AB - Q1 results
  • WH Smith - Half-year results

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