I was thinking that the “death of the cassette tape” may be more of a myth and a westernized on at that, than I originally thought. sure there are plenty of new technologies available for the wealthy to consume, but what about poorer people and countries? I will need to find more published information on cassettes sales worldwide, even though I have seen a few pictures in flickr of different markets and shops from around the world of tapes being bought or sold.
This article (2002) from the optical disc industry (?) made the case that
…sales of licensed prerecorded cassettes have sharply declined over the past decade, according to the IFPI. In 1991, music cassette sales were 1.49 billion units, representing 52% of all sales worldwide. By 2000, these figures had fallen to 800.9 million and 23%. The biggest market for music cassettes is Asia, which represents 48% of all sales.
Thea BBC followed with a story (2005) proclaiming “Not long left for cassette tapes”, citing
“Cassette albums have declined quite significantly since their peak in 1989 when they were selling 83 million units in the UK,” Matt Phillips of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) told BBC World Service’s The Music Biz programme.
“Last year we saw that there were about 900,000 units sold. It’s clear to see that cassette sales are dwindling fast.”