Sony Will Start Pressing Vinyl Records After 28-Year Hiatus

Javier Howell
July 1, 2017

Almost 30 years after Sony stopped making vinyl records, the company announced Thursday it will start making records again in Japan to meet surging demand. They should start rolling off the production line by March next year. Although the records will mostly be sold in Japan, the decision is indicative of vinyl's stunning return to prominence.

Sony's move comes a few months after it equipped its Tokyo studio with a cutting lathe, used to produce the master discs used to manufacture vinyl records.

According to estimates, revenue for the industry will exceed a billion U.S. dollars this year, and according to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), vinyl sales hit a 25-year high of more than three million in 2016.

"A lot of young people buy songs that they hear and love on streaming services", Michinori Mizuno, Sony Music CEO, told Nikkei.

Sony's biggest challenge is the lack of engineers experienced in making records.

The United Record Pressing plant, which has manufactured vinyl since 1949, is reportedly planning to expand its operations in Tennessee, doubling its current production capacity.

The situation is similar in other developed countries, including Britain, where revenues from vinyl sales briefly surpassed those of digital music downloads last December.

No announcements have been made as to what records will be produced at the new facility, but Sony have so far been putting out a steady stream of new records and classic re-releases.

Vinyl could account for up to 18% of all physical music revenue this year, which is likely to top $5 billion, Deloitte said in a recent report.

Other reports by Insurance News

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