60 Years of Sonopress

International provider of media services celebrates anniversary

From LP to UHD – 60 Years of Sonopress


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