Survey says one in 10 young people buy cassette tapes

Cassette tape

One in 10 young people has bought a music cassette tape in the last month, a new survey done to coincide with Record Store Day suggests.

The research suggests that physical formats are still more popular than digital downloads.

In the last year, 57% of the people surveyed had bought a CD, while 39% had purchased an MP3 download.

ICM Group, who did the research, say the popularity of physical formats is in part down to their collectability.

The survey of 2,030 people was conducted between 11 and 15 April.

They say 15% of people buy CDs, vinyl and cassette tapes with no intention of ever listening to them - they are purchased simply to own the physical copy.

Haim
Haim are one of the bands set to participate in the upcoming Record Store Day events

"There's definitely a novelty value with cassettes at the moment, particularly as we suspect a high proportion of them are collectibles sitting on a shelf and never played," said Maurice Fyles, who worked on the research ahead of Record Store Day.

Over half of the people who do this bought a vinyl record, 48% a CD and 23% an audio cassette tape that they have no intention of ever listening to.

This behaviour is particularly common with young people, with more than a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds buying music just to keep the physical copy.

"Although we can store our music on a PC or in the Cloud, a large proportion of music buyers continue to purchase physical formats with MP3 files as an add-on," said Mr Fyles.

"Perhaps it's a reaction to the digital world, but physical formats that we might have thought were relegated to history are being revived as fans and collectors opt for limited editions and promotional copies of their favourite music across a range of formats."

People walking past a record shop

Despite the popularity of physical formats, online retailers are still getting the greatest sales figures.

On the high street, supermarkets account for 12% of sales, with independent record stores and HMV at 6% each.

Older buyers tend to spend more on music online than they do on the high street.

This difference is least marked in 18 to 24-year-olds where 30% spend more in store and 34% spend more online.

Last year this age group was responsible for the growth in popularity of vinyl.

While sales of the format have increased again this year, it's thought 25 to 34-year-olds have driven the rise.

One Direction
One Direction have announced they will release a special version of their single Midnight Memories

The research comes as record shops prepare to celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday 19 April.

Hundreds of musicians are releasing one-off singles and albums to encourage fans to buy music in their local record shop.

Kings Of Leon, Haim and Bombay Bicycle Club are among the acts taking part in the annual celebration.

One Direction recently announced they would be releasing a 7" version of their latest single Midnight Memories as part of this year's event.

"Record Store Day has been incredibly important as a catalyst for the resurgence of vinyl," said Kim Bayley, who organises the event.

"The fact that indie record shops managed to sell £2m worth of vinyl in one day [last year] puts paid to the idea that either vinyl or record stores themselves are on the way out."

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