On The 40th Anniversary Of The Walkman, Cassette Sales Reach 15 Year High

August 1, 2019

Credit: Carl Court / Getty Images News


The must have for teens at the beginning of the 1980s, was the Sony Walkman. Introduced in 1979, it allowed you to discreetly listen to whatever type of music you wanted, without disturbing others, or without having your enjoyment ruined by someone who wanted to talk to you. Perfect for the brooding teenager. It also marked a big turn from record albums, to cassette tapes. Whether it was one your purchased, or made yourself by recording songs off the radio, it made your music portable.

CDs and the mp3 formats that followed, have since made the cassette tape something of an ancient relic. That is, until recently. The old saying that what once was old is new again, holds true here, too. Much like the vinyl resurgance when records outsold digital music a few years ago, casettes sales are on the upswing.

Thanks to recent releases from artists like Billie Eilish, who wasn't even born until the 21st century, and Madonna, who came into prominence during the cassette era, 2019 has seen the highest number of tapes sold since 2004. Artists who are among the top 10 in cassette sales this year also include, Jonas Brothers, Hozier, Bryan Adams & Kylie Minogue.