Are cassettes making a comeback?

129,000 tapes were sold this past year, up significantly from the year before

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) --- We live in a world of digital music.

Digital tunes topped CD sales three years ago, and anyone can access their favorite songs from just about anywhere.

There are some who still cherish the cassette tape.

“In my car yes,” said Virginia Beach’s Kameron McCubbin. “I do.”

McCubbin wasn’t even born when cassette tapes were popular, but she still enjoys the warm sound of the tapes she inherited from her father.

“I think it’s more authentic than things you find on YouTube,” said McCubbin.

Maybe it’s that authentic, nostalgic feeling that’s led to the tape’s resurgence.

According to Nielsen Music, 129,000 cassette tapes were sold last year compared to just 74,000 the year before.

Granted tape sales are getting crushed by digital music, but it’s still close to a 60-percent swing in just a year.

But Steve Athey from Skinnies Records in Norfolk isn’t buying into the cassette hype.

“It’s desperation by the remaining labels to get a little more out of the same thing they’ve already done,” said Athey.

He has a point.

National Audio Company is the only place in the U.S. that still produces the cassette tape. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company only has a year’s left of the supplies used to make them.

“There’s a couple people out there who like it and appreciate it,” said Athey. “Good for them.”

Athey sells a small collection of used cassette’s at his Norfolk shop, but vinyl records won’t be replacing them anytime soon.

Still, to the tape lovers out there, there is no denying the power of the cassette.

“If someone got a mix tape then they meant a lot to you,” said customer Samantha Smith.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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