Saturday, January 05, 2013

Cassingles: They're growing in popularity

Good news for manufacturers of pencils, although only the hexagonal sort. Britain is going to be needing something to start trying to spool unruly tape back into cassettes, as Cassingles had a massive upswing in sales in 2012. A 300% increase, in fact.

Although the Official Charts Company has a slight note of caution:

That’s right, the Official Charts Company track sales of recorded music in the UK seven days a week, 365 days a year, covering a whopping 99% of the singles market, EVEN CASSETTES! And now, according to this eye-popping treasure trove of data collected daily from music retailers the length and breadth of the country, we can confirm that the market for cassette singles, or ‘cassingles’ tripled in 2012, from 218 to a grand total of 604 copies.
480 of those cassingles were Feeder's Borders.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, the Chart people counted 270 albums on minidisc being sold in the UK.

No word on how the few remaining available Digital Compact Cassettes are selling, although "they're not" is most likely.


Anonymous said...

The minidisc numbers are obviously odd but does anyone know why one particularly Charles Aznavour tape would be selling better than anything else on cassette?

Robin Carmody said...

For each of the previous three years, the UK's best-selling cassette single had been 'N Sync's "I'll Never Stop" - a minor hit in 2000 which was never even released in the US. There's something hauntingly bleak about that.

Simon said...

Hmm. There's plenty of DIY labels that put out cassettes - Transgressive's Jen Long-operated side label Kissability is tape-only - and I'm pretty sure their collected total sales were more than 124.

Chris Brown said...

Yeah, some people on the chart forums wonder whether there's some sort of barcode error that meant the NSync single was getting the 20-30 sales per year.

I suppose it's possible there's something similar going on with Aznavour, but there could just be one or two shops with a (relatively) big stock selling them for 5p or whatever. Presumably people who buy cassette albums would be relatively older people and not massive music fans, so Aznavour is a plausible singer for them to be interested in.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Good point, Simon - Kissability tend to do runs of 50 at a time, don't they, and have had more than two-and-a-half releases in 2012... but they don't have the all-important barcode, so are invisible to the people in County Hall with the calculators...

Robin Carmody said...

Indeed. These figures will clearly be mainly for sales of "mainstream" / commercial releases - just as they would have been when cassette singles were a mass medium.

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