Vinyl and cassette sales soar as digital drops

Posted on 9 March 2010
By Pierce King
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Vinyl records and cassette tapes are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, as more music fans ignore CDs and digital downloads, according to official figures.

Sales of traditional album formats rose by more than five per cent last year, figures from the Official UK Charts Company show.

CD sales have fallen off by a fifth during the same time frame, leading to some manufacturers threatening to halt their production.

Despite accounting for less than one per cent of music purchases, American sales of vinyl topped almost three million, an increase of a million records.

Music website said it had ordered more than 250,000 vinyl albums to meet the growing demand.

Yahoo also report a 210 per cent increase in searches for the phrase ‘blank cassette tapes’ and a 110 per cent rise in users seeking ‘music cassette tapes.’

The new trend is thought to have been started by New York teenagers, leading to a boom in record player and turntable sales.

Most vinyl records bought over the past decade were by DJs and dance music fans, but recently more rock and country music albums have been sold.

Some of the most popular records include music from Florence and the Machine and The Courteeners and re-released Jimi Hendrix and The Red Hot Chili Pepper albums.

Music experts said that vinyl sales figures could be even higher because official British statistics do not include sales from smaller record shops and albums sold at concerts.

Some vintage blank tapes are reportedly selling for more than £20 on auction websites.

Steve Clancey, a Brixton-based rare records and vinyl dealer said: “Downloads are quick and easy but nothing beats the joy of holding a heavy piece of vinyl.

“Vinyl sounds richer and there’s something special about the cover art and sleeve notes which you cannot get with digital tunes.”