Sony Music (global brand, excluding JP, owned by Sony Music Entertainment; for use as release label only when no sub-label/imprint is specified)
Jan 1, 1991: Sony Music Entertainment (SME) was founded, on the same day Sony reintroduced the Columbia label worldwide (except in Spain and Japan*).
Aug 5, 2004: Sony/BMG merger; SME renamed Sony BMG Music Entertainment (SBME). With the merge, Sony Music gained the use of the BMG-owned Columbia trademark in Spain.
Aug 2008: Sony announces its intention to buy out BMG's stake in merger
Oct 1, 2008: acquisition completed, SBME reverts to the present name Sony Music Entertainment (worldwide – except in Japan*).
Sep 2012: Arista France is created, historic Arista (BMG) disappeared with Sony/BMG fusion in 2008
* JP releases should not be filed under this label – The Sony Music Distribution (Japan) Inc. is a good source for labels. Most JP printings of US releases will retain the US label, with the exception of Columbia due to legal reasons. For more information on the independent music giant, see Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc..
Sony Music Entertainment has offices in the following countries:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela
Sony Music Entertainment (abbreviated as SME and also referred to as Sony Music) is an American label and company owned by Sony through Sony Entertainment. The company was first founded in 1929 as American Record Corporation and renamed Columbia Recording Corporation in 1938, following its acquisition by the Columbia Broadcasting System. In 1966, the company was reorganized to become CBS Records. Sony Corporation bought the company in 1987 and renamed it Sony Music Entertainment in 1991.
In 2004, SME and the Bertelsmann Music Group merged to become Sony BMG Music Entertainment, although later in 2008, Sony acquired BMG's stake and the company reverted to the SME name. The buyout led to the dissolution of BMG, which relaunched as BMG Rights Management. Sony Music Entertainment is one of the "Big Three" record companies, being the second largest after Universal Music Group (UMG) and ahead of Warner Music Group (WMG).