According to new research by ICM Group, who conducted a music medium survey to coincide with Record Store Day 2014, one in 10 MP3-downloadding, iPod-listening, backwards baseball cap-wearing, skateboarding young people has purchased a record on cassette tape in the last month.
As the BBC report, the ICM’s research suggests that physical formats are still more popular than digital downloads, findings previously uncovered by the British Phonographic Industry, who despite confirming that streaming doubled in 2013, found CDs still make up almost two thirds of the market.
57 percent of people surveyed by ICM had bought a CD in the last year, while 39 percent had purchased an MP3 download. ICM, who surveyed 2,030 people as part of their research, suspect that the continuing popularity of physical formats is in part because of their value as collectables.
Indeed the group’s research found that 15 percent of people who buy CDs, vinyl, and cassette tapes do so with no intention of ever actually listening to them. “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,” Maurice Fyles, who worked on ICM’s research team, told the BBC.
Fyles suggested purchases could be “a reaction to the digital world,” adding, “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.”
Over half of the 18-24s who do this bought a vinyl — which some credit as experiencing a resurgence in recent years, with the BPI finding that UK sales of wax increased to 780,000 during 2013 — 48 percent a CD, and 23 percent an audio cassette tape that they will never listen to.
Watch: Kids React To Walkmans