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Are Cassette Tapes Making a Big Comeback?

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Are Cassette Tapes Making a Big Comeback?

In a world that seems more and more digital the surprise resurgence of vinyl shown us, many music lovers still long for that physical connection, but what about cassette tape? Remember that portable but somewhat clunky analog recording medium of a supposedly bygone era?  Are they making a surprise comeback?

Let’s look at some numbers: in 2014 National Audio Company, one of the largest and busiest cassette manufacturers in the US, produced more than 10 million tapes. In 2015 their duplicated cassette sales increased 31% over 2014 and in 2016, the number kept improving.

Music fans who are rediscovering the format’s appeal. Some love the ability to craft unique and inspiring mix-tapes, or perhaps the comfort of having tangible music. What is clear to experts is that cassettes are making a comeback. Sales figures for streaming music and even vinyl may dwarf those of cassettes, but the format still thrives: An estimated 129,000 tapes sold last year, up from 74,000 the year before, according to Nielsen Music.

Some blame the resurgence, in part, on Justin Bieber. According to Gigi Johnson, director of UCLA’s Center for Music Innovation, when the heartthrob released a cassette version of his Grammy-nominated album “Purpose” in 2016, more than 1,000 copies of the retro iteration sold (a relatively significant sum). The Weeknd’s Grammy-winning release “Beauty Behind the Madness” saw similar sales in cassette form, as did over 20 other albums last year, including the “Guardians of the Galaxy” soundtrack and reissues of works by Prince and Eminem.

And while four-digit sales figures might seem low, Johnson deemed 2016 “a breakout year” for cassettes. “You can expect to see many more artists embracing tapes this year and next,” she said.

In 2017, financial services firm Deloitte stated, in a report, record sales are expected to approach $1 billion (yes, with a “b”) globally in revenue. That would be about 40 million records sold worldwide.

Are you ready to start working on the next big mix tape?

After Fifty Living™ was founded by Jo-Anne Lema, a genuine Boomer and member of the 50+ generation. As she likes to say, “Our enormous generation is charting new territory – we’re healthier, better educated, and more financially fit than any other generation at this time. And, as we march through history, 110 million strong – unique, new issues are developing. It’s exciting to be a part of the development and growth of AfterFiftyLiving.com. This is a historic solution for a historic generation.”

Jo-Anne spent many years in the financial and operations side of higher education after having received a doctorate in education management and administration from Harvard, and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. Launching out on her own, though, has been the fulfillment of a life dream. Jo-Anne believes that “AfterFiftyLiving™ will delight its visitors, catalyze its partners, and will significantly benefit those who engage it.”

Residing in New England along with her husband of 35+ years, she never ceases to brag about her two children and 4 grandkids!

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