Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 August 2019
‘Tape-trading’ – the sharing of illicitly recorded material between hardcore fans – was a small but important part of popular music consumption during the analogue and CD eras. Although the sharing of the same kind of musical material still exists today, the emergence of various networked technologies has fundamentally changed many of the features of tape-trading as a social practice. For example, there has been a great expansion of the amount of material being shared and it is being shared more quickly. However, there has also arguably been a reduction in the circulation of some of the artistically most significant material and some of the strong social ties among collectors have arguably diluted. In a variety of ways, the transformations that have occurred in tape-trading mirror trends within mainstream digital music consumption.