Cassette tapes are back, kind of

Add the astound return of the cassette videotape to the long listing of why the last couple of years have been some of the strangest in recent memory. After a number of strong years for the vinyl record, the media’s successor had a good 12 months, as sales in the US rose a solid 35 -percent, according to Nielsen Music.

The cassette tape doesn’t appear to be on track for the same various kinds of romantic renaissance vinyl has been undergoing over the past decade, but a few pop culture milestones have driven its numbers back up. All three top spots were dominated by Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks, marking the format’s best year since 2012.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe film and its 2017 sequel have helped promote a newfound romanticism for the once mighty media, along with hitting Netflix series, Stranger Things , which got its own cassette soundtrack release the summer months. Those retro soundtracks monopolized the top four places, with a Hamilton Mix Tape reaching number six. Some era appropriate albums also construct the listing, including Prince’s Purple Rain and Nirvana’s Nevermind .

Total U.S. sales made 174,000 units this past year — that’s up from 129,000 the year prior. That, in turn, was up a whopping 74 percentage from the year prior. Of course, that’s just a fraction of vinyl marketings for the year, which reached 14.32 million — a nine-percent bump over a year prior.

Still, that’s all merely a drop in the bucket compared to the 169.1 albums sold in 2017. Naturally, the numbers are all rosy for the music industry. That number was down 17.7 percentage from a year prior.

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