|Former type||Joint venture|
|Industry||Music & Entertainment|
|Fate||Sony buys Bertelsmann's share|
|Successor(s)||Sony Music Entertainment|
|Founded||March 3, 2004|
|Defunct||October 1, 2008|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, US|
|Key people||David Gordon: Chairman Sound & Vision|
|Products||Music & Entertainment|
Sony Corporation of America (50%)
Sony BMG Music Entertainment was a recorded music company, which was a 50–50 joint venture between the Sony Corporation of America and Bertelsmann AG. The venture’s successor, the again-active Sony Music Entertainment, is 100% owned by the Sony Corporation of America.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment began as the result of a 50–50 joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment (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 Corp. agreed to buy Bertelsmann AG's 50 percent stake in the music company for $1.2 billion to get full control. The music company will be renamed Sony Music Entertainment Inc. and will become a unit of Sony Corporation of America. This will allow Sony the rights to artists on the current and historic BMG roster and would allow Sony Corporation to better integrate its functions with its PlayStation 3 and upcoming new media initiatives.
See also 
- Sony Music Entertainment
- Bertelsmann Music Group
- Big Four
- Sony Music Entertainment Japan, which was not part of Sony BMG, distributed Japanese Music in the US through Columbia or Epic, since around March 2007 when previous distributor, Tofu Records, was closed down
- List of record labels
- List of Sony Music Entertainment labels
- List of Sony Music Entertainment artists
- Columbia House
- Thiel, Simon (2008-08-05). "Sony Buys Bertelsmann Sony BMG Stake for $1.2 Billion". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- Leonard, Devin (Nov. 28, 2005). "Music Lessons." Fortune, pp. 31–32.
- Sony Commercial Music Group (CMG) – Official Site
- Sony Music Entertainment, Incorporated – Company Profile on Yahoo!
- Music Press Coverage of Sony BMG Merger Completion
- Business press coverage of merger completion
- Groklaw Page on Sony BMG DRM Issues and Litigation
- Sony BMG Litigation and Rootkit Info
- Sony BMG Sued for Software Piracy – Assets Seized
- Sony BMG's channel on YouTube