History

1968
March

CBS Sony Records founded in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, pursuant to the joint venture agreement between Sony Corporation and Columbia Broadcasting System Inc. (now CBS Inc.) at a capital of 720 million yen (investment ratio 50:50).

April

Headquarters relocated to Minato-ku, Tokyo.

August

Release of first record.

December

Shizuoka Factory (now Oigawa Production Center) opens in Ooigawa, Shida-gun(now Yaizu City), Shizuoka Prefecture.

1969
February

Manufacturing of analog discs begins. (First title: Simon & Garfunkel / Graduate Original Soundtrack)

December

Manufacturing of cassette tapes begins

1971
July

Launches a new record label “EPIC”.

1973
August

Corporate name changes to CBS Sony Inc.

August

Headquarters relocated to Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.

1974
August

Shizuoka Factory to operate independently as CBS Sony Records Inc.

1978
May

Release of first pre-recorded video product.

August

Epic Sony Inc. founded as wholly owned subsidiary.

September

Shinanomachi Studios opens in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.

1981
August

SD Department is created to strengthen artist discovery and development.

1982
April

Manufacturing of compact discs (CDs) begins. (First title: Billy Joel / 52nd Street)

October

Release of first CDs. (Initial release lineup: 50 titles)

1983
August

Corporate name changes to CBS Sony Group Inc. A&R divisions to operate independently as CBS Sony Inc.

1988
January

Sony Corporation acquires all stock previously owned by CBS Inc.; becomes a wholly owned subsidiary.

February

Acquires from Sony Corporation all stock for Sony Video Software International, which produces, manufactures and distributes video and karaoke products.

March

Consolidates the four companies, CBS Sony Inc., Epic Sony Inc., CBS Sony Records Inc., and Sony Video Software International.

1989
November

Manufacturing of laser discs begins.

1991
April

Corporate name changes to Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.

November

Listed on the Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

1992
April

Shizuoka Production Center 2 opens(now Shizuoka Production Center) in Yoshida, Haibara-gun, Shizuoka Prefecture.

April

Launches a new record label “Ki/oon Sony Records.”

August

Release of first MDs. (Initial release lineup: 88 titles)

November

Manufacturing of MiniDiscs (MDs) begins. (First title: Mariah Carey / Emotions)

1995
March

Launches SMEJ official website “BIGTOP” (now Sony Music Online Japan).

1996
June

Shizuoka Production Centers certified to ISO 9002, an international standard for quality management systems.

1997
February

Manufacturing of DVD products begins. (First title: The Secret Service released from Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.)

April

Shizuoka Production Centers certified to ISO14001, an international environmental management standard.

1998
July

Ibaraki Production Center is completed in Naka-machi, Naka-gun (now Naka City), Ibaraki Prefecture.

August

Changes corporate symbol to “Sony Music Logo Type.”

1999
May

Manufacturing of Super Audio CDs (SACDs) begins.

December

Launches commercial online distribution of new domestic CD singles. (Service name: bitmusic)

December

Delists from Tokyo Stock Exchange.

2000
January

Exchanges stock with Sony Corporation to become its wholly owned subsidiary.

February

Introduces corporate executive system (operating officer system).

2001
January

Sets up a portion of A&R division to operate independently as Defstar Records Inc.

March

SME Nogizaka Building opens with Sony Music Studios Tokyo located on basement floors 1 through 3.

May

Launches “EGSTREET” (now Sony Music Shop), a consolidated Sony Music Group e-commerce site.

June

Launches broadband magazine “MORRICH.”

June

Headquarters relocated to Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (SME Rokubancho Building).

October

A&R divisions are set up independently as Sony Music Japan International Inc., Sony Music Records Inc., Epic Records Japan Inc., Ki/oon Records Inc., and Sony Music Associated Records Inc.

October

The sales division is set up independently as Sony Music Distribution Inc.

October

Manufacturing divisions are set up independently as Sony Music Manufacturing Inc.

2002
February

Sony Music Group certified to ISO 14001, an international environmental management standard.

December

Launches Chaku-uta, an online distribution service of audio for mobile phones.

2003
April

SME Records is set up to operate independently.

April

The forerunning Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. is divided into Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. (succeeding the corporate name) and Sony Culture Entertainment (Japan) Inc.

2005
April

Sony Music Network Inc. is founded to develop a new market for music that fully utilizes digital networks.

2006
April

A&R divisions and subsidiaries of Sony Music Artists Inc. are reorganized and merged to create management companies Hit & Run Inc., SMA Entertainment Inc., SMA Players Inc., Newcome Inc., Music Tabloid Inc, and Village Music Inc. to form the Artist Management Business Group.

November

Releases first Blu-ray disc (BD) titles.

December

Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. absorbs Sony Culture Entertainment (Japan) Inc.

2008
October

BMG Japan, Inc. becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.

December

Introduces Blu-spec CDs.

2009
April

Sony Music Artists Inc. absorbs Artist Management Business Group companies (except for Village Music Inc.).

October

Domestic Label Business Division of BMG Japan, Inc. to operate as Ariola Japan Inc. The International Label Business Division of BMG Japan, Inc. is absorbed to become part of Sony Music Japan International Inc.

2011
April

Sony Music Artists Inc. absorbs Village Music Inc.

2012
April

As a result of reorganization at Media Business Group, Music on! TV Inc. and Sony Magazines Inc. are merged to become M-ON! Entertainment Inc..

April

Hall Network Inc. creates A&R division and changes its corporate name to Zepp Live Entertainment Inc.

April

Ki/oon Records Inc. changes its corporate name to Ki/oon Music Inc.

October

Sony Music Artists Inc. absorbs Westside Inc.

December

Introduces Blu-spec CD2.

2014
April

Sony Music Records Inc. absorbs SME Records Inc., Sony Music Associated Records Inc., Epic Records Japan Inc., Defstar Records Inc., Ariola Japan Inc., Ki/oon Music Inc., Sony Music Japan International Inc. and changes its corporate name to Sony Music Labels Inc.

April

Sony Music Distribution (Japan) Inc. absorbs Sony Music Network Inc. and changes its corporate name to Sony Music Marketing Inc.

June

Zepp Live Entertainment Inc. changes its corporate name to Zepp Hall Network Inc.

Zepp Live Inc. is founded.

2015
April

Sony DADC Japan Inc. becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.

April

Label Gate Co., Ltd. absorbs Clipgate Inc.

2017
April

Bancho Inc. changes its corporate name to Quatro A Inc.

2018
October

CloverWorks Inc. is founded.

2019
April

Sony Music Communications Inc. absorbs Sony DADC Japan Inc.,JARED Inc., and the part of Marketing Division of Sony Music Marketing Inc. and changes its corporate name to Sony Music Solutions Inc..