TOKYO (CelebrityAccess) — After a hiatus of three decades, Sony is planning to start producing vinyl records again to meet demand for the hipster audio format.
According to the Japan Times, Sony subsidiary Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. has installed vinyl presses and record cutting machines in a factory south-west of Tokyo, with new records due to start flowing to markets during this fiscal year.
After decades of vinyl production, Sony ended its own production lines for records in 1989 in response to the consumer demand for compact discs, outsourcing its remaining production to Toyo Kasei Co. and foreign firms.
While still a niche market, the demand for vinyl has inexplicably been on the rise for the past six years. In 2016, almost 800,000 discs were pressed, up from 105,000 in 2010, according to the Recording Industry Association of Japan. As well, the format is often marketed as to dedicated fans and sold as high margin collectors items.
Global vinyl sales are expected to top $1bn this year while sales of other product such as CDs and digital downloads continue to slip, according to estimates from accountancy Deloitte.