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Billie Eilish and The 1975 drive cassette sales to 15-year high

The classic medium has seen a resurgence in recent years.

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Billie Eilish performing at Glastonbury (Aaron Chown/PA)

Billie Eilish performing at Glastonbury (Aaron Chown/PA)

Billie Eilish performing at Glastonbury (Aaron Chown/PA)

Cassette sales have hit a 15-year high, driven by album releases from the likes of Billie Eilish and The 1975.

Sales remain small in comparison to downloads and streams, accounting for only 0.2% of the albums market, according to music industry trade body the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

However, the number of cassettes sold has increased 112% year-on-year and the final three months of 2018 saw the highest sales in the UK since 2004.

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Cassettes are increasing in popularity (Niall Carson/PA)

Cassettes are increasing in popularity (Niall Carson/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Cassettes are increasing in popularity (Niall Carson/PA)

So far this year 36,000 cassettes have been sold, according to the BPI and the Official Charts Company.

Listeners’ desire for retro collectables appears to be behind the trend.

The 20 best-selling cassette artists feature those with a devoted fan base interested in tangible items such as vinyl.

The 1975’s A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships is the biggest seller of the decade so far, with 8,000 sales since its release in November.

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Matthew Healy, Ross MacDonald, George Daniel and Adam Hann of The 1975 (Ian West/PA)

Matthew Healy, Ross MacDonald, George Daniel and Adam Hann of The 1975 (Ian West/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Matthew Healy, Ross MacDonald, George Daniel and Adam Hann of The 1975 (Ian West/PA)

Just over 7,000 of those were in the record’s first week, making it the fastest-selling cassette since July 2002.

Also among the decade’s highest sellers are Kylie Minogue’s 14th studio album Golden and the two 80s-inspired Guardians Of The Galaxy soundtracks.

Californian 17-year-old Eilish has the highest-selling cassette of the year so far with her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Released in a range of colours including ultraviolet green, it has sold 4,000 copies since its release in March.

Catfish & The Bottlemen have the second highest selling cassette album of the year, while Madonna’s Madame X is third.

PA