Sony to make vinyl records again after 30-year hiatus

The Japanese company stopped making vinyl records in 1989 when CDs took over as the preferred format, before the invention of mp3 and streaming services.

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

Agence France-Presse reported that Sony produced almost 200 million records per year in the 1970s, and Nikkei said Japan's sole record maker, Toyokasei, often can not keep up with current demand. Though used records account for 70% of vinyl sales at Lawson HMV Entertainment, the Lawson unit is apparently seeing stronger demand for new releases from popular artists as well.

Japan's sole record maker, Toyokasei, is struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl demand, the influential Nikkei newspaper reported.

Digital natives more accustomed to smartphones than turntables are driving the boom.

Japanese sales of vinyl records have roughly octupled from 2010 levels to 799,000 units in 2016.

In 1929, the American Record corporation-the company that, after a long chain of mergers and acquisitions, would eventually become Sony Music Entertainment-put out its first record. Tower Records has expanded its floor space.

Global vinyl revenue will top $1 billion (around 875,000 euros) this year while sales of CDs and digital downloads continue to fall, according to estimates from the consulting firm Deloitte.

  • Joey Payne