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13News Now Vault: Cassette tapes once dominated music. Some people are still buying them.

Cassettes were the most popular audio format in the 80s, enjoying a decade of dominance before getting erased by Compact Discs.

NORFOLK, Va. — For people of a certain age, cassette tapes bring back a lot of memories -- from your first mix-tape from a significant other, to the unbelievable frustration of trying to tape a broken cassette back together.

But now, these relics from the 20th century are making a comeback.

Entertainment data tracker Luminate says the sale of cassettes nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021, and this year's sales numbers signal further growth.

Now, artists not even alive when cassettes were first popular are releasing albums on tape, like Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift.

The driving force behind this comeback appears to simply be nostalgia.

Cassettes were the most popular audio format in the 80s, enjoying a decade of dominance before getting erased by Compact Discs.

Right now, the 80s and 90s nostalgia is enjoying its moment in the sun as shows like "Stranger Things" fuel a renewed interest in everything from banana clips to mullets.

It also helps that 80s kids are now middle-aged with the disposable income to indulge in some childhood nostalgia.

But before you dust off that Walkman, experts point out that sales of cassette tapes will not threaten the popularity of streaming sites any time soon.

Most of the major music companies stopped making cassettes in 2003. Also, any audiophile will tell you the cassette's sound quality is pretty bad.

Their popularity was originally driven by how cheap they were to make and the ability to record your own.

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