Sony to start pressing records after nearly 30-year break

Colored vinyl records.  (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
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Colored vinyl records. (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe

Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe

Vinyl records, a format scrapped by music and technology giant Sony in 1989, will start spinning from one of the company’s Japanese facilities again.

Records have seen a renaissance with both younger fans and older aficionados, and Sony is dusting off record-cutting equipment and seeking help from its older engineers to start pressing records at a studio in Shizouka Prefecture by March 2018.

"A lot of young people buy songs that they hear and love on streaming services," Michinori Mizuno, Sony Music CEO, told Nikkei

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Sony, which innovated music listening with the creation of the Walkman and was a digital music pioneer that helped develop the CD in 1982, also rolled out a new turntable last year.

Sony will release records from its artists, older songs to which it owns the rights and take orders from outside labels.

In a time when Spotify, Apple Music and digital downloads engulf music sales, record sales continue to see increases and facilities are struggling to meet demand.

There were 17.2 million records shipped to the U.S. last year, and 70 percent of them were purchased by people 35 years old and younger, according to Nikkei.

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