What started as a niche retro movement has gained an unexpected amount of steam — interest in turntables and vinyl records has shot up so much that one of the major players in music is going to start producing them again. Sony has announced that they will produce and sell vinyl records again after a 28-year layoff.
This signals a big shift toward vinyl becoming mainstream again. Actually, it might already be there — according to a CNN Money report, Deloitte projects 40 million new vinyl records to be sold this year for $900 million in revenue. With Sony joining the party, vinyl could quickly, incredibly, become a billion dollar business in just a year or two.
Sony Music Entertainment will now scramble to get production started from Tokyo, but they’ll need to get the right machines and people in place. The latter could be particularly tough — they haven’t needed engineers for vinyl in almost three decades, and in the interim, not too many young people have studied that art. They’ll have to figure out how to train new hires up in what almost became a lost art before they can get started in full.
Sony has a lot of big names on their label, including Beyoncé. While the universe practically demands Lemonade on vinyl, the label is yet to confirm which artists will get the vinyl treatment once everything is up and running.