Sony BMG

Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Joint venture (Delaware general partnership)
IndustryMusic and entertainment
FateBertelsmann's share acquired by Sony
FoundedMarch 4, 2004; 15 years ago (2004-03-04)
DefunctOctober 1, 2008 (2008-10-01)
United States
Key people
David Gordon: chairman Sound & Vision
OwnersEach of 50% owned by:
  • Bertelsmann
  • the original on January 1, 2006.

Sony BMG Music Entertainment was an American record company owned as a 50–50 joint venture between Sony Corporation of America and Bertelsmann Music Group. The venture's successor, the revived Sony Music, is wholly owned by Sony, following their buyout of the remaining 50% held by Bertelsmann. BMG was instead rebuilt as BMG Rights Management on the basis of 200 remaining artists.


Sony BMG Music Entertainment began as the result of a 50–50 joint venture between Sony Music (part of Sony) and Bertelsmann Music Group (part of Bertelsmann) completed on March 4, 2004. It is one of the Big Four music companies and includes ownership and distribution of recording labels such as Arista Records, Columbia Records, Epic Records, J Records, Mchenry Records, Jive Records, RCA Victor Records, RCA Records, Legacy Recordings, Sonic Wave America and others. The merger affected all Sony Music and Bertelsmann Music Group companies worldwide except for Japan, where it was felt that it would reduce competition in that country's music industry significantly.

Financial analysts covering the merger anticipated that up to 2,000 jobs would be cut as a result, saving Sony BMG approximately $350 million annually.

The company's chief executive officer (CEO) is Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, who succeeded Andrew Lack on February 10, 2006. In the first half of 2005, the company's share of new releases in the United States (US) declined from 33% to 26% according to Nielsen SoundScan. This, and Lack's negotiation of what some called an "ill-conceived" deal with Bruce Springsteen led to Bertelsmann informing Sony that it would not renew Lack's contract.

The company signed a content deal with the popular video sharing community YouTube.

On August 5, 2008 Sony Corporation agreed to buy Bertelsmann AG's 50 percent stake in the music company for $1.2 billion to get full control. The music company was renamed Sony Music Entertainment and became a unit of Sony Corporation of America.[1] This allowed Sony the rights to artists on the current and historic BMG roster and allowed Sony Corporation to better integrate its functions with its PlayStation 3 and upcoming new media initiatives. As part of the buyout, Bertelsmann kept the rights to master recordings by 200 artists, which formed the basis for a second version of BMG.

Sony and Bertelsmann last teamed up in 2013, in a failed bid to acquire Parlophone from Universal Music Group. BMG would administer the label's back catalogue, while its current artists would sign with Sony.[2] While Sony BMG failed to win Parlophone (which ultimately went to Warner Music Group), BMG acquired Mute Records' back catalogue and licensed Depeche Mode and the catalogue of The Echo Label to Sony.[3]

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日本語: ソニーBMG
română: Sony BMG
русский: Sony BMG
slovenčina: Sony BMG
українська: Sony BMG Music Entertainment