You missed it, there were "cheap" in relative terms tape drives that went on a floppy controller, for smaller office rather than datacenter use, in the mid 90s. Capacity wasn't spectacular, 40MB, but that would compete with using 30 something floppies. They had all the problems of audio compact cassettes for frequent use though, heads would get dirty, rollers would get either shiny or sticky, tapes would stretch in warm drive bays. All these technologies it seems like we get stuck with cheap/reliable/huge capacity, pick any two out of three.
edit: I guess more like late 80s, early 90s, QIC-40 and QIC-80 formats.
Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.