Sony Music To Open Vinyl Pressing Plant in Japan

Adam Berry/Getty Images
    

The company stopped its in-house vinyl production in 1989.

Sony Music today (June 29), announced plans to open a pressing plant in Japan as soon as March 2018. Sony stopped its in-house vinyl production in 1989, relying on outsourcing to focus on CD production instead. But in 2016 while CDs took a backseat to streaming (on-demand audio streaming surpassed total digital sales for the first time ever), vinyl hit a 25-year high with 13 million sales according to Nielsen.

Sony's plant will join a growing list of initiatives that support vinyl growth. In 2017 alone, newly opened plants have sprouted in the U.S. from Jack White's Third Man Pressing in Detroit -- a 10,000-square-foot facility with eight presses -- to SunPress Vinyl in Miami -- a plant that uses machines and equipment that once pressed records for renowned reggae label Studio One.

Vinyl-only labels have also come into existence, with Warner Music's Run Out Groove and boutique London-based hip hop label Omertà. Sony's U.K licensing department largely helped Omertà secure its most notable title to date, Future's Pluto, and also enabled the label to secure Three 6 Mafia's Most Known Unknown and T.I.'s I'm Serious for release.

Earlier this year, Sony Music installed a cutting lathe in its Tokyo studio -- a possible foreshadowing of its forthcoming fully-functioning plant. As for the plant, its first wave of albums pressed will primarily consist of Japanese reissues and contemporary releases, according to English-language Asian publication Nikkei. Since there is only one active plant in Japan as of now, Toyokasei, the plant will also accept orders from outside labels.


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.