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Audiocassettes are making a comeback

Technological WasteTechnological Waste
Cassettes are obsolete - right?Photograph by Getty Images

National Audio Company, a Missouri-based cassette maker, had its best year of sales since it opened its doors nearly 40 years ago, Bloomberg reports.

The company is the largest of only a few audiocassette manufacturers left. NAC President, Steve Sapp, told Bloomberg, “You can characterize our operating model as stubbornness and stupidity. We were too stubborn to quit.” And now that stubbornness is paying off.

NAC produced over 10 million cassette tapes in 2014, which it makes with the same machines that it used in the 70s.

Sales this year increased by 20% and the company now has deals with major record labels, including Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, as well as with a few indie bands. Susie Brown, NAC’s production manager, says that “There was a drive from the independent bands to get that warm analog sound again, and it just continued to grow and grow.”

This isn’t the only retro music format making a comeback. Vinyl has returned to shelves in the U.K. with the help of Tesco, the world’s third largest retailer.