Cassette Sales Have More Than Doubled In 2020

by : Lucy Connolly on :
Cassette Sales Have More Than Doubled In 2020mrcassettes/Instagram

Cassettes have made an unlikely comeback this year, with sales more than doubling in the first half of 2020 alone.

With CDs long since becoming a thing of the past in the streaming era as platforms such as Spotify take over as the top choice for music consumption, you’d be forgiven for thinking cassettes would also be taking a hit.


And although this might have been the case last year, new figures from the Official Charts Company show there was a 103% increase in sales in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.


Describing the cassette as ‘the unlikely comeback kid of music formats’, the Official Charts Company said 65,000 cassettes were purchased in the first half of 2020, with the figures on course to top 100,000 for the first time since 2003.

To put that into context, the figures are set to eclipse 2019’s figure of 80,000 – but more than that, more cassettes have been sold so far in 2020 than the entirety of 2018.


So why the sudden surge? Well, according to the charts, younger music fans have been buying limited edition tapes to boost their pop collections, with the pop genre being the primary driver for the increase in sales.


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In fact, seven of the Top 10 albums on cassette so far in 2020 are by pop acts, with 5 Seconds of Summer, Lady Gaga, The 1975, Selena Gomez and Dua Lipa taking the top five spots.

Not only that, but 5 Seconds of Summer’s CALM sold 12,000 in the first week, making it the fastest selling cassette in 18 years. The last time an album gained that many cassette sales in seven days was NOW 52 in July 2002.


Other pop acts in the Top 20 include Louis Tomlinson’s debut album Walls, Carly Rae Jepsen’s Dedicated: Side B, and Harry Styles’ Fine Line, released in 2019 but still proving popular.

Anyone else feel like we’ve travelled back in time?

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Music, Now, Sound, UK


Official Charts Company
  1. Official Charts Company

    The UK's Official Top 20 bestselling cassette albums of 2020 so far