2017: Listen To It, Love It, Own It
The cassette has been a central part of our duplication business since we began trading in 2008. Media Duplication Ltd brought together all of the collective experience from three people that have spent all of their careers in the audio/visual duplication industry. And the three stalwart media formats (Cassette, CD and DVD) of our business remain as popular today as when they were launched. In early 2017 we recognised that Cassette really needed its own home and its own voice - hence The Audio Tape People. Because like Vinyl, Cassette had never really gone away. And although we're principally a business, we really do love and believe in the Cassette and everything it can offer to record labels and music artists around the world. So the creation of this web-space for the Cassette was actually a long overdue recognition of something that's popularity continues to grow, not fade away - cue Buddy Holly...
Cassette had plenty of Press coverage in 2017...some negative, some positive. In some circles the negatives and the positives were surmised as one...great to see it back, but its only a fad. In labelling the Cassette as something that sits in nostalgic memory is a real shame to read, because it misses out two key driving forces behind the continued growth of both the Cassette and other physical media formats. The first is the investment by record labels and independent artists to get their music out into the world. These companies and individuals take the physical media format very seriously. They recognise that Digital alone just isn't enough for people that love music. And that plays out in the second key thing to take from 2017...more and more people want to own their music and have something tangible to show for it, not just an MP3 or an MPEG file.
That's not to say that Digital doesn't have a place, because no physical media format is going to unseat Digital as one of the modern day format of choice for listening to music. That said, the market is shifting, and being shaped wholly by the music loving public. And record labels and independent music artists are responding accordingly. If you think about it, this really is the age of the Music Lover. You can really have the best of all worlds...you can listen to the music first, love it and then own it. Sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud are all great ports of call to discover and buy new music. In 2017 Bandcamp.com saw 17,872 Cassette releases...how great is that. And the signs are that 2018 is going to be just as strong. And around the UK alone we've seen some wonderful sights...here was a selection of Cassettes from Spun Out Of Control Records being sold in a Twickenham based Record Store;
You can only hope we see more of that in 2018! :)
And in late November last year we saw some further reassurance that Cassette was very much back into the hands of Music Lovers courtesy of The Official Charts Company;
You can read the whole article and view the full chart here;
So if you're reading this as someone considering Cassette as part of a music release, then we'd say, don't hesitate...and yes we'd say that, but 2017 alone shows that Music Lovers do want to have the music in their hands, and Cassette is a great way of doing that.
We'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of the people we've met, worked with, and those that have taken an interest in our world, a very Happy New Year. Roll on 2018! :)
And a final word of praise for everyone that got involved with Cassette Store Day this year, the Organisers, the Artists, the Record Labels and the Retailers...but especially for those that sought out the music and gave it a cassette deck to blast out from :)