Sony Back in Vinyl Business

Sony Music Entertainment said this week it will begin pressing vinyl records again ending an almost three-decade hiatus

Sony plans to manufacture records for the first time since 1989. Back then, Sony abandoned vinyl in favour of the CD format, and outsourced its vinyl production to Japanese company Toyokasei Co. and foreign firms.

As The Guardian reports, a factory in the south-west of Tokyo will begin pressing records from March 2018, with the move announced today by Sony Music Entertainment.

The news follows Sony Music's installation of a cutting lathe in its studio earlier this year.

Sony has not confirmed which titles are in line to be pressed as part of its new production stream.

The biggest challenge for Sony is a lack of experienced engineers for making records. Meanwhile, data from the U.S.'s Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) shows total LP and EP revenues in the USA have risen from $88.9 million in 2010 to $429.7 million in 2016.


Nearly 200 million records a year were produced in Japan in the mid-1970s, according to the country's recording industry association.

But audiophiles from all ages have now gone back to vinyl, with the format making a prominent comeback around the world.

One legendary record label is keeping up with the times by going old-school. Former engineers are returning to the company in advisory roles to pass on their expertise to younger employees, the spokeswoman added.

And vinyl revenue forecasts are still a long way off their peak in the late 70s and early 80s, when more than half a billion records were sold annually in the US alone.

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