Cassette Sales on the Rise
Vinyl isn’t the only audio format on the rise as cassette sales last year rose from 74,000 to 129,000, growing by 74% according to Neilsen Music. Cassette sales in recent years have heavily been supported by prisoners who are often not allowed access to other tangible formats of music. Last year’s spike, however, is largely due to specialty releases by chart-topping musicians like Justin Bieber’s Purpose, the 1975’s I Like it When You Sleep, and the Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness, as well as specialty re-issues including Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP and Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain, which together sold 5,000 copies. There was Record Store Day’s sister event Cassette Store Day back in October which saw multiple exclusive releases. And even 2 years later, the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 tape still sold 4,000 copies, bringing its total to 11,000 tapes sold to date.
Jay-Z Sprints for Tidal Deal
Tidal and Sprint made a huge announcement morning stating Sprint’s new 33% stake in the streaming service. Head of Tidal music, Jay-Z, said that all of the company’s two dozen artist-owners will retain part ownership. The partnership promises a couple of major things: a dedicated annual fund of $75 million will be used solely for artist exclusives and creative initiatives to augment the direct connection between the artists and their fans. The other, and potentially more exciting aspect of the partnership is that Tidal will now be made available for all of Sprint’s 45 million retail customers.