Around 1989, 10 years after the launch of the first model, more than 100 million Walkmans had been sold internationally. And by 1999, the amount of Walkman sold reached hundred and 86 million, which was really great! Things began to transform for the Walkman when the era of stereo music got introduced with CD players, which then led to the failure of the popular ‘Cassette Walkman’ and was even obsolete in Japan in the year 2010. Although the last cassette-based model there in the US was even released in 2004.
The promotion of the Walkman was done with the thought of ‘Japanese-ness” in global culture. However, the most crucial element for the Walkman ad was simply, the ‘Personalization of playlist’. Because at that instance, getting the chance to personalize your songs was really new. In fact, the possibility to play one’s favourite music and hear from one’s own comfort zone was an excellent selling point of the Walkman, specifically among teenagers who highly played a big role in the journey of Walkman’s success.
Ethnically, Walkman had a great impact that made it inescapable among the people. As per Time, “The Walkman’s unparalleled blend of portability and privacy made it the product for many consumers seeking a compact portable stereo that they could get with them anywhere”.
Therefore, the Walkman had been considered an icon in the 80s culture as well as its popularity got more than a new height while the word “Walkman” made an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Moreover, people explained that their exercise rate enhanced by 30% after they received a Walkman for themselves, which additionally shows a huge level of the brand’s success. After in 2019, a big statue of a Sports Walkman FM was made in the Ginza district of Tokyo to make the most of the 40th anniversary of the Walkman. The Walkman not just transformed people’s relationship to music but likewise technology; because of having personalized nature, users got themselves engaged in the music of personal choice instead of listening through a radio.
So, prior to the thought of ‘a personal computer’, or ‘a mobile phone’ there was the existence of a personal music device. Finally, headphones began to be worn in public, which actually, led to safety controversies in the United States, causing a ban on the Walkman to be used in public because of pedestrian accidents.
In this year, a portable recorder known as Video8 was promoted as ‘Video Walkman’. Another year, Sony launched another portable device known as Digital Audio Tape or DAT, promoted as DAT Walkman, which was then extended more in 1992 for MiniDisc players with the ‘MD Walkman’ brand. In the year 1997, the Discman range of portable CD players began to get known as ‘CD Walkman’. In the year 1999, portable CD players launched their first Digital Audio Players known as ‘Network Walkman, incorporating the players under VAIO. The primary audio player ‘MS Walkman’ utilizes a memory stick as a great storage medium. In 2000, the Walkman brand was combined with the logo with an icon ‘W’.
This is all about the history of the Sony Walkman, it's time to have a look at many of its models.