Compared to the vinyl revival, the cassette revival is a mere blip on the radar: A bunch of underground bands putting out small-run EPs on tapes that only a few of their fans have the equipment to listen to anymore. But the revival is still strange enough that NBC Nightly News devoted a segment to it last night, focusing on a Springfield, Missouri-based tape manufacturer that calls itself the National Audio Company. NBC reports that the company “sold more than 20 million of cassette tapes, the most in its history.” That seems both crazy and unlikely. But even if that claim leaves me scratching my head, it’s still fun to watch the report, with all these small-company types talking about how they bought up all the old tape-manufacturing machinery when every other pressing plant gave up on them. Company president Steve Stepp says his company owes its success to “stubbornness and stupidity” but also “the warmth and presence in an analog recording,” and we get to see a whole bunch of Pepto Bismol-pink Diet Cig tapes being run through the machine. Watch the segment below.
Seriously though: 20 million? How is that possible?