UK cassette sales increased by 19% in 2021

Cassette sales in the UK increased by 19% last year.

According to official figures shared by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) this week, over 185,000 cassette tapes were sold in the UK in 2021, up almost 20,000 units from 2020 — which had already doubled in number from 2019 — and marking the highest recorded sales since 2003. Artists such as Streatham MC Dave, Billie Eilish and Lana Del Rey were among the top 10 best-selling cassette albums in 2021.

Additionally, the BPI reports that there were over 14 million CDs and 5.3 million vinyl LPs purchased in 2021, with vinyl LPs hitting a 30-year high, representing over a quarter of all purchases on physical format.  The biggest selling album on vinyl this year in the UK was ABBA’s comeback record ‘Voyage’, while Adele’s ’30’ was also a high-seller. 

You can read the full report from the BPI here.

Elsewhere, in October last year, Discogs hit a new milestone with over one million cassettes having been listed on the marketplace for the first time.

In March 2021, Lou Ottens, the Dutch engineer and of the cassette tape, died aged 94.

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