Vinyl comeback: Sony to produce records again after 28-year break

Posted July 01, 2017

Sony's decision to start making vinyl records is an effort to cash in on the growing interest in the media format.

Crediting a huge demand, a spokesperson says vinyl production will kick off at a factory near Tokyo by next March, reports CNNMoney.

According to Agence-France Presse, Sony's records will include older Japanese music as well as contemporary hits.

The news follows Sony Music's installation of a cutting lathe in its studio earlier this year. Prior to the announcement, Japan had only one active record manufacturer in Toyokasei. This time around Sony Music is back in the news, dropping some news that will certainly help bring vinyl back.

In 2016 sales of vinyl records accounted for about 3.6% of total global music revenues. This will be the first time the company has pressed its own records since production ceased in 1989.

According to estimates, revenue for the industry will exceed a billion United States 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. If stored correctly, vinyl records could potentially last for centuries. In fact, they're popular enough in Japan that Sony is preparing to restart mass production after almost 30 years.

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

Sony did not say what music it will release in record format.

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.