Nancy Behrman Discusses the Interesting and Resurgent Path of the Cassette Tape


nancy behrman Cassette TapeSometimes there is little that differentiates the shrewdest entrepreneur from the most stubborn entrepreneur, and if ever there was an outstanding real-world example of this phenomenon it has to be the story of the National Audio Company and the cassette tape. Nancy Behrman, herself one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the PR industry, understands the inherent advantages of being able to accurately predict the future behavior of the market. She also points out, however, that very few have the patience to play a truly long game in the way that National Audio Company has with the cassette tape.

The technological progression in the music industry has seen many formats come and go over the years, and many believed that the advent of the compact disc would mean that the cassette tape was destined to go the way of the eight-track. One stubborn entrepreneur, however, saw how vinyl had survived the ebbs and flows of the marketplace — not to mention the whims of music connoisseurs — and felt that the cassette tape still had a future despite the rampant popularity of CDs and, eventually, digital music formats.

While the music industry shifted its focus away from cassette tapes, National Audio was busy buying up the machinery needed to produce those cassette tapes. Since most viewed tapes as obsolete, the cost of the manufacturing infrastructure was more than a bargain. Having cornered the market early, the National Audio Company has since thrived due to the continuing resurgence of the cassette tape, a resurgence few would have ever imagined when CDs were still all the rage.