The Return of… The Cassette Tape?

James H (Year 12)

It’s been an absolutely ecstatic last couple of months for Taylor Swift fans, from the new release of “Midnights” to the “Eras” tour taking over America to the newest instalment in Swift’s “Taylor’s Version” of her albums. Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is set to release on July 7th of this year – but it’s not just the new recording of this iconic album that has got people talking.  

Since 2017, vinyl returned to some level of prevalence, miraculously moving to a position of getting more sales than CD’s, thanks to the combination of digital streaming and the “aesthetic” or vinyl that made it so desirable for so many people around the world. It came after Sony Music announced they would be pressing vinyls in 2018, having completely stopped since vinyl was well and truly derelict in 1989. Since then, this 60’s piece of media has vastly grown in prevalence, with Taylor Swift’s album “Midnights” being the first major album release to have more vinyl sales than CD sales since 1987.  

Following this surprising comeback of vinyl, it comes as an even bigger surprise that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) will be released on streaming services, digital download, CD, vinyl and… cassette?  

Much to the same merit as vinyl, the wave of CD, in its ease of production, use, price, and reliability, massively swept over the cassette market. If you’ve looked around recently, you won’t notice too many people strolling around and listening to their tunes on their Sony Walkman, because the cassette industry is almost non-existent at this point.  

Online streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music offer such convenience of listening, combined with thousands of other functions, as opposed to a device that has the sole purpose of listening to music on the go – so, with such a better alternative, is it really time for the return of the cassette?