Vinyl isn't just trendy—it's big business again

The resurgence of vinyl has been ongoing for a while now, and in recent years the market for the nearly century-old format has exploded—so much so that Sony announced late last week that it intends to begin manufacturing vinyl records again for the first time in nearly three decades.

The Japanese company will reportedly start production at a factory southwest of Tokyo this year, with records hitting the market by March of 2018. There is currently no word on what records will be getting pressed, although a report by the Agence France-Presse mentions that releases will include popular Japanese songs from years past as well as contemporary music.

Sony previously stopped producing vinyl records in 1989, deeming them outdated compared to CDs, which were not only smaller and cheaper to produce but could hold a greater amount of information. Vinyl purists, however, argue that the format has a warmer, fuller sound than that of digital music recordings.

The move back to vinyl comes as sales of the format have exploded. In the United Kingdom, for instance, sales of vinyl records reached a 25-year high in 2016, up 53% year-over-year to 3.2 million copies sold, according to data published by The Guardian. While that still accounts for only a small fraction of the total number of records sold in the country (where streaming dominates), it represents the ninth consecutive year of growth in sales of vinyl.

According to a CNN Money report, Sony intends to bring back former vinyl engineers in advisory roles to help pass along their experience to younger employees. The company said one of the biggest challenges in deciding to manufacture vinyl again was simply finding enough engineers with experience in producing records.

Sony

The resurgence of vinyl has been ongoing for a while now, and in recent years the market for the nearly century-old format has exploded—so much so that Sony announced late last week that it intends to begin manufacturing vinyl records again for the first time in nearly three decades.

The Japanese company will reportedly start production at a factory southwest of Tokyo this year, with records hitting the market by March of 2018. There is currently no word on what records will be getting pressed, although a report by the Agence France-Presse mentions that releases will include popular Japanese songs from years past as well as contemporary music.