Sony Music Entertainment stopped making vinyl records in 1989, but now it has re-entered the segment due to rising demand for this vintage product. The Japanese company will be making vinyl records at a factory near Tokyo.
What makes Sony’s turntable unique?
Be it fashion or wine, the old is always gold, and the same is true of the music industry. Those who once ditched the bulky vinyl records in favor of downloadable music are once again going crazy for them. In its 2015 U.S. Music Year-End Report, Nielsen stated that 2015 marked the tenth year of consecutive growth in vinyl sales.
To take advantage of this wonderful opportunity, Sony says its offering is different from other high-end contemporary turntables as it “lets you record your vinyl discs to create audiophile-quality digital files.”
There was a time when Sony was a major player in the global record business, producing and releasing millions of records every year. But after customers’ liking of vinyl waned in favor of smaller and more portable music options, Sony abandoned its vinyl business and embraced CDs.
Sony’s latest turntable is equipped with a high-quality A/D converter that allows users to record their vinyl as High-Resolution Audio track by connecting it to their PC using a USB cable. This also allows users to take a digital backup of their extensive vinyl collection, and thus, it is as good as any of the contemporary music options with the added advantage of “dream-like” music quality.
Sony is also offering a mobile and desktop app that can be used to edit the converted files.
What’s increasing demand for vinyl records?
Consumer interest in vinyl records has gone up significantly, and not only for old music, but for new tracks too. Many recent soundtracks have been made available on vinyl, including The Last Guardian and Ocarina of Time, notes SlashGear.
“It’s not just nostalgia. Listeners are pining for higher-quality sound, and vinyl offers a uniquely rich, warm sound quality that you won’t experience while listening to CDs and MP3s,” says Sony.
Further, the increased demand for vinyl records is because both old and new generations are interested in it. While the former is attached to the format from their past, the latter is interested in owning a physical format, and with CDs on decline, vinyl records have emerged as a popular alternative.
Sony Music Japan Chief Executive Michinori Mizuno said, “A lot of young people buy songs that they hear and love on streaming services.”
Europe has two plants for manufacturing vinyl records: GZ Media based in the Czech Republic and Record Industry in Netherlands. Though the two plants manufacture more than 100,000 records on a daily basis, they are unable to meet the global demand, notes The Guardian.
Last year, Record Industry’s owner, Ton Vermeulen, said, “It’s actually too good. Demand is sky-high and we’re having to turn people away, which I don’t like doing.”