Sony Music

Sony Music Entertainment (SME), also known as simply Sony Music, is an American multinational music company. Being owned by the parent conglomerate Sony Group Corporation, it is part of the Sony Music Group,[4] which is owned by Sony Entertainment and managed by the American umbrella division of Sony.

Sony Music Entertainment
FormerlyAmerican Record Corporation (1929–1938)
Columbia Records, USA (1938–1957)
CBS Records (1957–1991)
Sony Music Entertainment Inc. (first incarnation; 1991–2004)
Sony BMG Music Entertainment (2004–2008)
TypeSubsidiary (incorporated as a general partnership)
IndustryMusic
Entertainment
GenreVarious
PredecessorVictor Talking Machine (1906–1924)
RCA Victor (1924–1985)
Ariola Records (1937–1985)
RCA Ariola (1985–1988)
BMG Ariola (1988–1994)
BMG Music (1994–2004)
FoundedSeptember 9, 1929; 93 years ago (1929-09-09)
FounderLouis G. Sylvester
Headquarters25 Madison Avenue, ,
United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Rob Stringer
(CEO)
ProductsMusic and entertainment
Revenue US$8.86 billion [1] (FY 2020)
US$1.74 billion [1] (FY 2020)
OwnerSony Corporation of America
(Sony Group Corporation)
(1988–present)
Number of employees
8,500 (2019[2])
ParentSony Entertainment
(2012–present)[3]
DivisionsSee List of Sony Music Entertainment labels
Websitesonymusic.com

It was originally founded in 1929 as American Record Corporation and renamed as Columbia Recording Corporation in 1938, following its acquisition by the Columbia Broadcasting System. In 1966, the company was reorganized to become CBS Records, and Sony Corporation bought the company in 1988, renaming it under its current name in 1991. In 2004, Sony and Bertelsmann established a 50-50 joint venture known as Sony BMG, which transferred the businesses of Sony Music and Bertelsmann Music Group into one entity. However, in 2008, Sony acquired Bertelsmann's stake, and the company reverted to the Sony Music name shortly after; the buyout allowed Sony to acquire all of BMG's labels, which led to the relaunch of BMG, as BMG Rights Management. All of BMG's former labels (Arista, Jive, LaFace, J, etc.) would eventually be absorbed into RCA Records (also formerly owned by BMG) in 2011. Arista Records would later go on to be revived in 2018.

As of 2020, Sony Music Entertainment is the second largest of the "Big Three" record companies, behind Universal Music Group and followed by Warner Music Group. Its music publishing division Sony/ATV (now known as Sony Music Publishing) is the largest music publisher in the world.[5][6]

On July 17, 2019, Sony announced that Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV would merge to become Sony Music Group.[7][8] The merger was completed on August 1, 2019.[9][4][10]


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