Vinyl Is Making a Comeback

One of the biggest record labels worldwide will go retro. Sony Music Entertainment announced earlier this week that it will start making vinyl records once again, ending a hiatus of close to three decades.

The past few years the demand for listening to vinyl music has dramatically increased, which prompted Sony to make the move back to pressing records, said its spokesperson.

Interest has come from a younger generation of customers who never used records prior to now as well as the older fans who are used to having turntables.

Sony, whose artists include Beyonce, Daft Punk and Adele, ended vinyl production in 1889 after the market was cornered by CDs.

However, despite the popularity that currently can be seen across the different digital music providers such as Spotify, the old school vinyl record has been enjoying quite a renaissance.

Deloitte the consulting firm has forecasted that the vinyl music industry will post growth in the double digits for 2017 for the seventh consecutive year selling over 40 million new records and generating revenue of over $900 million.

Vinyl could represent as much as 18% of all revenue for physical music in 2017, which will likely exceed $5 billion, said Deloitte in a report recently published.

Turntables as well as other accessories related to records are benefitting as well. Panasonic and Sony both have introduced new models of record players in the last year.

Sony said that vinyl production would resume before March of 2018 in a factory to the southwest of Tokyo that a subsidiary it has operates

It has not yet made a decision of which genres it will produce said the company spokesperson. The company installed last February a new analog record cutting machine that makes mass production master copies for records and is starting to introduce a pressing machine.

The biggest challenge for Sony is a lack of experienced engineers for making records. Some former engineers the company had are now holding advisory roles to help pass their expertise on to the younger ones, said the spokeswoman.

Even though a comeback is being made by vinyl, its sales will remain dwarfed by those in other formats such as digital music as well as CDs, said an online research firm.

And revenue forecasts from vinyl record sales are a long distance away from their peak of during the latter part of the 1970s and early 1980s, when over 500 million records were sold each year in just the United States.