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Sony Music Entertainment has announced that their vinyl / ˈvaɪn l / records will be making a comeback after 28 years.
Sony discontinued the production of vinyl records, a type of audio recording produced in the form of a plastic disc, in 1989 as a result of the rise of the compact disc (CD).
The company has played a major part in the development of CDs, which dominated the global market for two decades. However, format upgrades such as digital music streaming and downloading have overtaken the production of the physical format.
Despite the popularity of digital music formats, Sony decided to revive the vinyl record format because of two reasons. First, there is a demand among older generations who are accustomed to the format. Second, the younger market, which is mainly exposed to the digital format, is starting to gain interest in owning physical copies of their music.
Data from the Recording Industry Association of Japan revealed that vinyl sales rose from 105,000 to 799,000 within the 2010 to 2016 period. As Toyokasei, the only vinyl-pressing factory in Japan, has been struggling to keep up with the demand, Sony decided to contribute to the production.
In response to the continuous rise in vinyl sales, Sony developed devices such as the PS-Hx500 audio turntable, a vinyl player. In addition, the company invested in a vinyl-pressing factory in southwestern Tokyo to gear up for its production in March 2018. Although the genres to be produced have not been finalized, there are talks that Sony will release both classic Japanese hit songs and more recent music.