From LP to UHD – 60 Years of Sonopress

International provider of media services celebrates anniversary

The international media service provider Sonopress celebrates its 60th anniversary this month. On April 22, 1958 in Gütersloh, a company was founded that has since developed into one of the most innovative and successful replication service providers. What began in the late 1950s with six record presses in a small workshop is now one of the globally leading providers for digital storage media production, and the preferred service provider of all music majors, numerous games manufacturers, and world-famous Hollywood studios such as Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures International. Over the past six decades, more than one billion vinyl records and as many as seven billion storage media have left its production halls. Along the way, some important innovations were developed, most recently the Ultra HD Blu-ray 100.

“As we celebrate our anniversary, not only can we look back with pride on a company history as eventful as it has been successful, but we can also look confidently to the future,” says Sonopress Managing Director Sven Deutschmann. “Although the worldwide markets for optical storage media have been in a sharp decline for several years due to digitization in the games, video and music sectors, we have done our homework and have significantly improved our market position, especially in recent months.” Several sales successes have contributed to this positive development, such as the expansion of Sonopress’ collaboration with Sony Music and Universal Music, and its early entry into production of the latest generation of optical storage media, the Ultra HD Blu-ray. With regard to this innovative data carrier with a capacity of 66 to 100 gigabytes, Sonopress is one of the world's technological trailblazers, and has received various international innovation awards for this.

The 60th anniversary of the company's founding will be celebrated with a large staff party near the headquarters in Gütersloh.

Milestones in the company's history:

1958               Record production begins in Gütersloh

1969               Start of music cassette production

1977               Establishment of the Mexpress record plant in Mexico City

1982               Start of laser disc/optical disc/video disc production

1984               Foundation of Topac - Gesellschaft für Tonträgerpackung [a company specializing in the manufacturing of packaging for recorded media]

1985               Start of CD production

1986               Acquisition of RCA’s music division by Bertelsmann in the U.S.

1991               Foundation of Sonopress Pan Asia in Hong Kong

1992               Discontinuation of record production in Gütersloh

1994               Establishment of digital storage media production in Dublin, Ireland

1997               Entry into DVD production

2001               Start of production of the first Xbox console games for Microsoft

2004               Presentation of the first storage medium with HDTV content

2006               Opening of the Sonopress site in Yaroslavl, Russia

2008               Celebration of the 50th anniversary in Bielefeld

2011               Takeover of Universal Music Group International’s archiving

2016               Market launch of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

About Sonopress

Sonopress is a leading international provider of entertainment and media services and realizes an extensive range of services and solutions for its business partners in the games, video, audio, publisher and TV/broadcasting industries. Its service portfolio covers all aspects of media asset management: From digital services such as digitization, replication, Electronic Content Distribution, archiving and asset management to the replication of CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs und 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays – both 66 GB and 100 GB – through to print management und print services, fulfilment and Supply Chain Management. All of these processes are supported by innovative end-to-end IT systems. Based on decades of professional experience and intelligent solutions, we create benefit for our customers and ensure that they are well equipped for the challenges of today's market. As part of the Bertelsmann Printing Group, Sonopress is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. As part of the Bertelsmann Printing Group, Sonopress is a 100% subsidiary of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA.