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June 30, 2017

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Sony to make vinyl after 30-year hiatus

THREE decades after it abandoned vinyl production, Sony says it will start making records again on the back of surging demand for the retro music format.

A factory southwest of Tokyo will be churning out freshly pressed records by March, Sony Music Entertainment said yesterday. The Japanese giant stopped making vinyl records in 1989, as consumers flocked to compact discs and other emerging technology.

Major music market Japan produced nearly 200 million records a year in the mid-1970s.

Sony was a major global player in the development of CDs, which have since taken a back seat to downloads and music streaming.

Vinyl has been making a global comeback as it attracts not only nostalgic older consumers but also younger generations.

Japan’s sole record maker, Toyokase, is struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl demand. Sony is scrambling to find older engineers familiar with how to make records. Panasonic relaunched its legendary Technics SL-1200 turntable several years ago as the market picked up.

Sony did not say what music it will release in record format. Reportedly, the line-up will include popular Japanese songs from the past, including Sony-owned titles, as well as chart-topping contemporary albums.


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