After shutting down its in-house vinyl pressing production in Japan in 1989 after the advent of CDs, which entered the market in 1982 and were dominant, Sony is making big plans to open a Vinyl factory in Japan. The announcement comes on the heel of the high demand for the record in the country.
A recent trend indicated that vinyl sales in Japan have soared over the past four years and the country’s sole vinyl-pressing factory is unable to cope with demand, prompting Sony to step in. Similar cases are reported in other parts of Europe. According to a report in The Guardian UK, the attributable factors for this sudden surge are: older generations who have long been attached to the format, and also a younger audience used to digital forms of music who want to own a physical format; with CDs in decline, vinyl has become a popular alternative. It stated that 3.2m vinyl records were sold in the UK in 2016, up 53% on the year before.
“A lot of young people buy songs that they hear and love on streaming services,” said Michinori Mizuno, chief executive of Sony Music Japan.
By March 2018, Sony is expected to open its own record-pressing plant in Japan. The vinyl production is presently limited to the Asian country and the records released will primarily be older Japanese reissues, with some new albums, but the records will mainly be sold in Japan.