On October 11th, 2021, Discogs hit a milestone: they now have over 1 million cassettes listed on their marketplace. They also hit over 1.1 million cassettes in their crowdsourced music database.
Discogs Director of Growth Marketing Jeffrey Smith says an event called Cassette Week is to thank. “Both of those numbers reflect the ongoing renaissance around the format that we’ve been tracking since the inception of Cassette Week in 2018,” Smith wrote in an email to Selector.
Started by online cassette storefront Tapehead City, Cassette Week is billed as a “weeklong event for bands, labels, stores and fans to come together and celebrate the beloved cassette.” Participating retailers celebrate by releasing limited edition tapes recorded by groups such as Bad Brains, The Good Life, and Cassius King.
Discogs also credits the resurgence to pop artists such as Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift releasing cassette versions of their work. The rising prices of vinyl records play a factor in increased cassette tapes as well. As vinyl continues to rise in popularity, cassette tapes act as an affordable alternative for fans and collectors.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also helped cassettes grow in popularity. As artists are forced to cancel shows, they have begun selling cassettes as a way for fans to engage with them.
Launched in 2000, Discogs is a crowdsourced database containing album information on over 7.6 million artists.