- Sony Music Entertainment Japan
Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.
Type Subsidiary of Sony Corporation Industry Music Founded 1968 as CBS/Sony Records Inc. Headquarters Rokubancho, Chiyoda, Tokyo. Japan Key people Naoki Kitagawa, CEO and Representative to the RIAJ
Kazutomo Enomoto, Director
Revenue ¥162 billion Employees 1,400 Subsidiaries SME Records Inc., EPIC Records Japan Inc., Ki/oon Records Inc., Sony Music Records Inc., Sony Music Associated Records Inc., BMG Japan, Inc., Sony Music Artists Inc., Sony Music Publishing (Japan) Inc., Sony Magazines Inc., Label Gate Co., Ltd., Aniplex Inc., etc. Website sonymusic.co.jp
Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. (株式会社ソニー・ミュージックエンタテインメント Kabushiki gaisha Sonī Myūjikku Entateinmento , often abbreviated as SMEJ and also known as Sony Music Japan for short) is Sony's music arm in Japan. SMEJ is directly owned by Sony Corporation and independent from the United States-based Sony Music Entertainment due to its strength in the Japanese music industry. Its subsidiaries including the anime production enterprise, Aniplex, which was established in January 1997 as a joint-venture between Sony Music Entertainment Japan and Sony Pictures Entertainment, but which in 2001 became a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment Japan. It was prominent in the early to mid 90's producing and licensing music for Anime such as Roujin Z from acclaimed Manga artist Katsuhiro Otomo and Capcom's Street Fighter anime series.
With Sony Corporation of America's buyout of Bertelsmann's stake in Sony BMG, Sony Music Entertainment Japan stepped in to acquire outstanding shares of BMG Music Japan from Sony BMG, making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music Japan.
Sony Music Entertainment Japan was officially incorporated in March 1968 as a Tokyo-based 50/50 joint venture between Sony Corporation and U.S. conglomerate CBS to distribute the latter's music releases in Japan. The company was incorporated as CBS/Sony Records and with Sony co-founder Akio Morita as president.
Norio Ohga was part of the management team from the formation of the company and served as president and representative director since April 1970. In 1972, when CBS/Sony was generating robust profits, Ohga was named chairman and at the same time gained further responsibility and influence within Sony. He would continue to work for the music company one morning a week. In 1980 Toshio Ozawa succeeded Ohga as president.
In 1983 the company was renamed CBS/Sony Group.
Sony Acquires CBS Records in 1988
In January 1988, after more than a year of negotiations, Sony acquired CBS Records and the 50% of CBS/Sony Group that it did not already own.
The company was renamed Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), Inc.
Shugo Matsuo was named new president in January 1992, replacing Toshio Ozawa, who was appointed to the post of chairman.
Overall sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1991 were 83.8 billion yen with a pretax profit of 9.2 billion yen.
In June 1996, Ryokichi Kunugi became new president. Shugo Matsuo was named chairman.
As of 2007, Naoki Kitagawa is the current CEO of the group.
The company's leading role on the Japanese market was increasingly challenged by labels such as Avex (where SMEJ formerly owned 5 percent of shares). Net sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1997 were down 10% to 103 Billion Yen, while net income fell 41% to 7.7 billion yen. The market share at that time was less than 18%. In August 1997, Dreams Come True, till then Sony Music Entertainment Japan's best-selling act, signed a worldwide multi-album deal with competing U.S. label Virgin Records America.
Since then it was said that SMEJ ceded to Avex's challenge, but SMEJ bounced back and regained leadership from its indie rival.
Labels and sublabels
- Antinos Records was launched in 1994 with Sony Music director Shigeo Maruyama as its president. The first releases on August 21 were a mini-album by indie group Confusion and singles by the groups Aniss, Neverending Story, and Ginji Itoh.
- Ariola Japan
- BMG Music Japan
- DefSTAR Records - founded in 1997 as a Warner Music sublabel.Acquired in 2000.
- Epic Records Japan
- Ki/oon Records - launched as Ki/oon Sony Records on April 1, 1992
- OKeh was launched in 1994 and headed by Sony Music deputy president Hiroshi Inagaki.
- SME Records
- Sony Music Records
- Sony Records
- gr8! records - founded April 2003
- MASTERSIX FOUNDATION
- Niagara Records
- VVV Records
- Sony Music Associated Records
- TERRY DOLLAR RECORD$
- Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Records
- Sony Music House
- Village Music
- Music Ray'n 
- Red Cafe (An Cafe's label)
- Sony Music Distribution - oversees distribution of labels which have a distribution contract with SMEJ.
- 72 (pronounced as Natsu)
- Aki Toyosaki
- An Cafe
- Angela Aki
- Aqua Timez
- Asian Kung-Fu Generation
- Automatic Loveletter
- Ayahi Takagaki
- Beat Crusaders
- Boom Boom Satellites
- The Brilliant Green
- Chiaki Kuriyama
- Cinder Road
- Cool Joke
- Crystal Kay (1999-2011)
- Debbie Gibson
- Denki Groove
- Dir En Grey
- Eric Martin
- Fight Like Apes
- Galileo Galilei
- Hajime Chitose
- Haruka Tomatsu
- Harumi Tsuyuzaki
- Home Made Kazoku
- I Am Ghost
- I WiSH
- Ikimono Gakari
- Jasmine (Japanese singer)
- Joe Inoue
- JUDY AND MARY
- Kana Nishino
- Ken Hirai
- Kuroneko Chelsea
- Little by Little
- Ling Tosite Sigure
- Loick Essien
- LONG SHOT PARTY
- Mai Hoshimura
- Masahiko Kondō
- Meisa Kuroki
- Miho Fukuhara
- Mika Nakashima
- Minako Kotobuki
- Miyu Nagase
- Naniwa Express
- Nami Tamaki
- Nana Kitade
- Nico Touches the Walls
- Obi Tenaka
- Orange Range
- Porno Graffitti
- Puffy AmiYumi
- Rie fu
- Rina Chinen
- ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D
- Sayaka Kanda
- school food punishment
- Secret (South Korean Girl Group)
- Seiko Matsuda
- Siam Shade
- Shinichi Osawa
- Shion Tsuji
- Shoko Nakagawa
- Soul'd Out
- Stance Punks
- Subsonic Factor
- SunSet Swish
- Tamio Okuda
- The Boss
- The Gazette
- Tomoko Kawase
- Uri Nakayama
- X Japan
- Yellow Generation
- Yoshida Brothers
- Yuna Ito
- Norio Ohga
- Akio Morita
- Toshio Ozawa
- Shugo Matsuo
- Ryokichi Kunugi
- Shigeo Maruyama
- Takashi Yoshida (now on Warner Music)
- Hiroshi Inagaki (now on Avex Group)
- Naoki Kitagawa
- Kazutomo Enomoto
- Yaz Noya (Tofu Records founder)
- Sony Music Entertainment
- BMG Japan
- Dreamusic Incorporated : SMEJ is one of its shareholders.
- Music On! TV : SMEJ-owned cable TV network
- Avex Group (formerly an affiliate of Sony Music, also the 2nd biggest record label in Japan.)
- Universal Music Japan
- Warner Music Japan
- EMI Music Japan
- ^ "Sony Japan not part of BMG merger plan-Bertelsmann". Forbes.com. November 15, 2003. http://web.archive.org/web/20071114103203/http://www.forbes.com/technology/futuretech/newswire/2003/11/15/rtr1149345.html. Retrieved July 21, 2006.
- ^ "Acquisition of Shares in BMG Japan Inc. by Sony Music Entertainment Japan Inc. (Japanese)". Sony Corporation. October 2, 2008. http://www.sony.co.jp/SonyInfo/IR/news/qfhh7c00000jbz2m-att/081002_SMEJ.pdf. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
- ^ a b c Sony Music Entertainment Japan - History Retrieved September 15, 2010
- ^ Kimio Kase, Francisco J. Sáez-Martínez, Hernán Riquelme: Transformational CEOs: Leadership and Management Success in Japan. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1-84542046-2. Page 16.
- ^ Sony and the Modern Age. Sony Music UK, via archive.org Retrieved on August 6, 2006.
- ^ CBS/Sony Records is Established in First Round of Capital Deregulation. Sony History. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
- ^ Press release: Chairman of the Board Norio Ohga Retires as Director of Sony Corporation. Sony Corporation, January 28, 2003. Retrieved September 15, 2010
- ^ John Nathan: Sony. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2001, ISBN 0-61812694-5. Pages 146-147.
- ^ John Nathan: Sony. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2001, ISBN 0-61812694-5. Page 147.
- ^ The Joy of Creating Something New. Sony History. Accessed September 17, 2010.
- ^ The Acquisition of CBS Records and Columbia Pictures. Sony History. Accessed September 27, 2010.
- ^ CBS/Sony to Take Over 4 Subsidiaries. Jiji Press Ticker Service, February 12, 1988
- ^ a b Steve McClure: Sony Music Names Matsuo to Head Label in Japan In: Billboard, February 8, 1992. Page 4.
- ^ Attorneys Launch Entertainment-Focused Firm In: Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1996. Accessed September 17, 2010.
- ^ a b Steve McClure: CEO Maruyama Steps Up as New SMEJ President. In Billboard, February 28, 1998.
- ^ a b Steve McClure: SMEJ's Other Announcements. In: Billboard, February 28, 1998.
- ^ Virgin's Dreams Come True. In: Billboard, August 20, 1997.
- ^ http://www.cnngo.com/tokyo/none/kana-nishino-gyarus-favorite-new-singer-444774
- ^ a b Steve McClure: Sony Bows Two Japan Subsids. In: Billboard, October 15, 1994. Page 53.
- ^ a b c d International - Newsline. In: Billboard, April 25, 1992. Page 36
- ^ http://www.musicrayn.com/
- ^ http://www.sme.co.jp/sme/corporate/mra.html
- ^ http://www.sonymusic.co.jp/Music/International/Arch/SR/debbiegibson/index.html
- ^ http://www.sonymusic.co.jp/Music/International/Arch/SR/ericmartin/index.html
- Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. official website
- sme.co.jp - Corporate website
IFPI members in JapanAvex Group Holdings Inc. · EMI Music Japan Inc. · Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan LLC · King Records Co. Ltd. · Nippon Columbia Co. Ltd. · Nippon Crown Co. Ltd. · Pony Canyon Inc. · Pryaid Records · Sony Music Entertainment Japan Inc. · Tokuma Japan Communications Co. Ltd. · Universal Music LLC · VAP Inc. · Victor Entertainment Inc.(Teichiku Entertainment Inc.) · Warner Music Japan Inc.
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