Not only are cassette tapes still alive, they’re actually becoming increasingly popular.
According to a recent report by Nielson Music, about 174,000 cassette albums were sold in the U.S. during 2017. That’s a 35 percent increase from the 129,000 sold in 2016, which suggest this antiquated medium isn’t going away anytime soon.
Many big-name artists have chosen to release their projects via cassettes throughout last year: Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 2, Tyler, the Creator’s Flower Boy, DJ Khaled’s Grateful, and Lana Del Rey’s Lust for Life were just some of the mainstream albums that were available in this format; however, a large chunk of 2017’s cassette sales was credited to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. The film’s soundtracks—Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Mix, Vol. 1—were the three top-selling cassette albums from Dec. 30, 2016 to Dec. 28, 2017.
In fourth place was the Stranger Things, Volume One soundtrack with 3,000 cassettes sold. Eminem’s 2002’s The Eminem Show landed at No. 5 (3,000), followed by The Hamilton Mixtape (3,000), and Prince’s Purple Rain soundtrack (2,000).
The top 10 list was rounded out by Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface (2,000), which took the No. 8 slot; Kanye West’s Yeezus (2,000) and No. 9, and Nirvana’s Nevermind (2,000) at No. 10.
Billboard points out cassettes only made up 0.1 percent of all album sales last year, and only .17 percent of physical album sales last year, so they're not exactly giving digital sales a run for their money.
You can check out the full top 10 breakdown below.
Top 10 Selling Cassette Albums of 2017
1. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (19,000)
2. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (15,000)
3. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Mix, Vol. 1 (5,000)
4. Soundtrack, Stranger Things, Volume One (3,000)
5. Eminem, The Eminem Show (3,000)
6. Various Artists, The Hamilton Mixtape (3,000)
7. Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain (Soundtrack) (2,000)
8. Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface (2,000)
9. Kanye West, Yeezus (2,000)
10. Nirvana, Nevermind (2,000)