How did it all begin? Well in 1963 a new bit of sound recording technology that was to change the world for millions of people was revealed at the Berlin Radio Show. Philips unveiled its new compact cassette tape and recorder, hoping people would buy an easy to use portable recording system. There was huge interest in the cassette tape at the show and especially from Japan.
So Wisse Dekker, from Philips Electronics and later President, and L.F. Ottens, a technical expert also from Philips, went to Japan and proposed the co-development of the compact cassette to Sony executive director Norio Ohga, who was also considering a similar deal with Grundig. The advantages of Grunding & Philips formats were weighed up and considered. In the end, Ohga chose the Philips compact cassette because of its smaller size.
So the new standard compact cassette format gained popularity. From 1966, Sony and other Japanese manufacturers began mass production of cassette tapes and tape recorders in response to growing demand. In 1966, Sony launched the TC-100 "Magazine-matic" cassette tape recorder, based on the compact cassette standard. Weighing only 1.75 kilograms, the cassette recorder was less than half the weight of the lightest reel-to-reel tape recorder, while taking up less than half the space.
By 1969, with the introduction of the compact cassette and its establishment as a music medium, the magnetic tape market was worth more than 10 billion yen. On July 1, 1979, Sony introduced the Sony Walkman TPS-L2, a 14 ounce, blue-and-silver, portable cassette player with chunky buttons, headphones and a leather case. It even had a second earphone jack so that two people could listen in at once. Once the Walkman was released this was a game changer & the rest is ‘History’. By 1981, the combined annual production value of Japanese audio tape manufacturers was 130 billion yen, just over half of which was exported to markets abroad.
During the 1980’s with the help of the Sony Walkman, the cassette tape started outselling records. They were easier to carry, cheaper, and the sound quality was just as good! 🧐Mmmm
After the 1980s however, tape sales declinded and a new way to listening to music was introduced. The compact disc became more popular than the cassette tape when it was first introduced. These CDs were more compact than the cassette tape and also easier to skip songs when searching through tracks. Also the CD was viewed as a medium which was more resilient to damage and weathering than tapes - it was highly acclaimed in its introduction to consumers. The sales of pre-recorded tapes soon became overshadowed by the introduction of the revolutionary compact disc, known more commonly as the CD. That was pretty much the end of cassettes but we are now slowly seeing a comeback with new artists releasing there albums on cassette & sales of cassettes higher each year. Artists who have recently released albums on cassette include, Eminem, Kasabian, Kylie, Arctic Monkeys, Mark Ronson, Billie Eilish, Mumford & Son, Taylor Swift, The Clash, Richard Ashcroft, Prodigy, Ariana Grande, Snow Patrol, Gorillaz ++++++😊