Cassette tapes and vinyl record sales are doing just fine, thanks, in part to legendary Swedish pop group ABBA.
In a recent BBC report, ABBA, alongside other notable musicians, caused vinyl sales to increase this year, with the UK reaching 5 million record sales for the first time since 1991.
In the past year, vinyl sales increased 8 per cent throughout 2020, partly due to blockbuster albums by Adele, Ed Sheeran and ABBA.
ABBA’s release of their 2021 album Voyage, their first in over 40 years, sold 29,891 copies in the first week of its release alone. According to Official Charts Company, the album soon became the century’s fastest vinyl seller.
Even though the group’s album overshadowed Adele’s, the singer’s newest album, 30, sold so incredibly well on vinyl that it was slightly blamed for causing a shortage in vinyls, as reported in Variety.
Sony Music sources toldVariety that there were 500,000 pre-order vinyl record copies were manufactured in the months leading up to her release. This definitely may have caused a strain on the vinyl supply chain.
However, there is currently more of a demand for the material than the capacity to manufacture them.
Since last year, CDs saw a decrease in sales at 12 per cent, and only 14 million discs were sold in the UK. This is the smallest amount since 1988, six years after this format was brought about in the country.
Cassettes saw more success with sales than CDs in 2021, with sales continuing to grow for the ninth year in a row. The sale amount is still pretty low, with just 190,000 tapes sold this year.
BBC further said that this trend may have to do with marketing purposes as many artists offer signed cassettes on their websites which are often in “bundles with CD or vinyl copies of the same album.”
Overall, this year’s top-selling cassettes included the no.1 spot for Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour and Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres, to name a couple.