January 10, 2024

The popularity of Cassette Tapes has Returned, and it is being Reevaluated both Domestically and Internationally

Ned Snowman - stock.adobe.com

As listening to music via the Internet becomes more commonplace, cassette tapes are being reevaluated in the country and abroad. It has attracted the support of young people who find the soft sound quality and appearance unique to analog fresh and new. The popularity of cassette tapes may gain further momentum in Japan, as some stores in Tokyo are expanding their dedicated sales areas.

According to the 2022 Recording Industry Association of Japan survey, 60% preferred "YouTube" to listen to music. As listening to music via streaming and other digital means becomes the norm, some people say, "The cassette is an entity that can be owned and loved. It is new to the younger generation, and for those who used to use cassettes, it is the original music experience".

Ahead of Japan, the cassette tape market is expanding again in the US and the U.K. The popularity of cassettes was boosted by a growing movement of artists releasing new music on cassettes and by the attention of young people when cassettes were featured in major Hollywood movies.

According to the British Phonographic Industry Association (BPI), the number of cassettes sold in the UK has increased for ten consecutive years, reaching its highest level in 2022 in the past 20 years at approximately 195,000, up around 5% from the previous year. BPI’s Chief Strategy Officer, Sophie Jones, notes, "The cassette market continues to be important."

According to US research firm Luminate, cassette sales in the United States were also 440,000 in 2022, an increase of 30% from the previous year. Famous US singers Taylor Swift and Harry Styles sold over 10,000 cassettes in 2022.